Possible Aussie Medalists
The Australian Olympic Committee is predicting 37 medals from the Australian athletes in Rio. Of these they are expecting 13 of them to be gold. It’s quite a talented Australia team in Brazil at the moment so don’t be too surprised if the AOC is being conservative and the medal count is closer to 47 than it is to 37. The gold medal tally may also be one or two more than expected.
14 Gold from 48 medals wouldn’t be too unrealistic.
With the late withdrawal of sprinter Joshua Clarke, there will now be 60 Australian athletes in the athletics team. One of our gold medal chances is Jared Talent who will be competing in the 50km Walk.
Talent crossed the line in second place at the London Games, but due to the disqualification of Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin in March this year, he was belatedly promoted up the podium and awarded the gold. On 17 June 2016, 1460 days after his London 50km race, Tallent was presented his gold medal on the steps of the Victorian Parliament.
Also on the radar are long jumpers Fabrice Lapierre and Olympic debutant 23-year-old Brooke Stratton. In March of this year, Stratton broke the Australian long jump record held by Bronwyn Thompson since 2002.
The Opals and the Boomers both qualified for Rio 2016. Between them 24 Australian athletes will be representing the country. The United States will start favourites in both the men’s and the women’s competitions but the Australian women will be pushing them all the way even without Lauren Jackson. The Boomers too are in with a medal hope.
Jessica Fox is one of 16 Australian athletes in Rio for the canoe and kayak events. As an 18-year-old at the London Games she picked up silver in the K1 event. Fox is definitely one of Australia’s gold medal chances in the K1 Slalom. Spain’s Maialen Chourrant, Slovakia’s Jana Dukatova and the Czech Republic’s Katerina Kudejova will be thereabouts.
The men are also serious medal hopes. Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame will be among the medals for the K2 1000m sprint, and again in K4 1000m.
31 Australian athletes will represent our cycling program in Rio. Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan are right up there for gold in their BMX events. Others expected to podium are Anna Mears in the Keirin, Matthew Glatzer in the Individual Sprint and Annette Edmondson in the women’s Omnium. The men’s and women’s Team Pursuit and the women’s Team Sprint are also medal chances.
The men’s team failed to qualify for the Olympics but the Matildas did and have a squad of 18 Australian athletes. It will be difficult for the women, particularly since they lost their opener against Canada, but they are still definite medal contenders.
The men’s and women’s hockey teams qualified for Rio and will be represented by 32 Australian athletes. The Kookaburras are definitely in with a chance for gold in the men’s competition but they will need to hold off Germany and the Netherlands.
In the women’s competition the Netherlands are going to be hard to beat but the Hockeyroos is a medal hopeful.
The rowing team consists of 29 Australian athletes. The Mens Quad Sculls is a definite gold medal opportunity as is Kim Brennan in the Women’s Singles Sculls.
The men’s rugby team will probably find it difficult in Rio but the women are looking good for a medal. 24 Australian athletes will make up the rugby squads.
Matthew Belcher and William Ryan are heavily backed for gold in the Men’s 470. The eleven Australian athletes in the rowing team also include 49er partners Vico Delle Kart and Nikolaus Resch, and Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. Both these partnerships are medal chances along with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin who will compete in the Nacra. Individually, Tom Burton should medal in the Men’s Laser.
18 Australian athletes are in Rio to compete in the shooting events. James Willett has an excellent chance for gold in the Men’s Double Trap while Warren Potent is in the mix for a podium finish in the 50m Rifle Prone.
Just 39 Australian athletes make up the swimming team for Rio, eight less than London. In 2012 Australia ended with one gold, six silver and three bronze medals. The “toxic culture” of the 2012 swimming team is now history and Australia is looking forward to a haul to match Beijing 2008 which was 6 gold, 6 silver and 8 bronze.
Our best chances for gold in Rio will be Cameron McEvoy (100m freestyle), Mitch Larkin (200m backstroke), Cate Campbell (100m freestyle), the women’s 4x100m Freestyle and the women’s 4x100m Medley.
Apart from the likelihood of multiple medals for McEvoy, Larkin and Cate Campbell, other swimmers from this strong looking squad are threatening to make an impact on the medal table, including the men’s relay teams.
Tennis will be tough with the big names from other nations in Rio, but Sam Stosur could be the one to podium from the 11 Australian athletes competing.
Six Australian Athletes will be competing in the triathlons in Rio. Debutant Ashleigh Gentle has been performing well enough to suggest she may sneak in a medal.
There will be four Australian athletes making up two teams at the Rio Beach Volleyball competition – Louise Bawden and Teliqua Clancy, and Maria Fe Artacho del Solar and Nicole Laird. The Brazilians on home soil will be hard to beat but Bawden and debutant Clancy make grab a medal.
26 Australian athletes will compete in the men’s and women’s water polo in Rio. The men look like they may struggle, but it won’t be wrong to expect the women to medal in this event.
The Australian Team
All the Australian Athletes selected for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Ben St Lawrence
Hsuan Yu Chen
Kevin Chavez Banda
Chris Burton (Olympics)
Lisa De Vanna
Emily Van Egmond
Minjee Lee Zappelli
Amber Rose Stackpole
Jian Fang Lay
Volleyball – Beach
Maria Fe Artacho del Solar