Andy Rice's Countdown To Rio
With the Olympic sailing regatta at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games taking place in the summer, Olympic Classes guru Andy Rice brings up to speed with what’s been happening on the Olympic campaign trail since London 2012 and makes some predictions of who he thinks will be standing atop the podium in Brazil this August.
I don’t know about you, but the more professional a sport becomes, the smaller the margins of victory, and therefore the more potential winners you’re going to have. Right? Except that when we look at the likely medal winners at the Olympic sailing regatta this August at Rio 2016, there are some very, very firm favourites. Here are my - and many other people’s - picks for the gold medal in four of the 10 Olympic classes:
FOUR FIRM FAVOURITES
49er - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL). Since ‘losing’ to Australians Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen for the gold medal at London 2012, and taking the silver medal, the two young Kiwis have been unstoppable. They have won the past four World Championships, and their most recent world title at Clearwater, Florida this year, took their unbeaten streak to 23 international regatta victories, stretching back to the last Games in August 2012.
The Aussies look likely to be the best of the rest, with a number of nations also in the hunt for a minor medal, including Denmark, Austria, Germany, Poland and Great Britain.
Nacra 17 - Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA). Although they can’t match the perfect winning streak of the Kiwi 49er sailors, the French duo equal Burling and Tuke for four consecutive world titles in this new Olympic class. They won this year’s World Championship at Clearwater with two races to spare, and were simply in a different class to the rest of the fleet. The scrap for silver and bronze could go any number of ways, although the most likely contenders look to be... READ THE FULL ARTICLE