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London 2012 – Day 6 – Preview

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And so to the last day of an Olympic competition engineered by the UCI to ‘prevent’ domination by a single nation – for which, read ‘Great Britain’. That aim has largely failed whatever happens on the final day with the British team having already secured 5 Gold Medals – half of the total available – and well positioned in the remaining three – the Women’s Omnium, Women’s Sprint and Men’s Keirin.

Two of the three competitions are finely balanced with Laura Trott of Great Britain tied on points with the USA’s Sarah Hammer on the Women’s Omnium and Britian’s Victoria Pendleton and her great rival Australia’s Anna Meares through to the Semi Finals of the Women’s Sprint. If Trott and Pendleton can secure those titles and team mate Sir Chris Hoy can take the Men’s Keirin, they’d actually exceed their Beijing haul of seven Gold medals in the velodrome. Unlikely? Maybe – but all three are the current World Champions in those disciplines.

Women’s Sprint

We’d be surprised if we’ve got the line-up for the Finals wrong, but not shocked if we have the results of either final – or both – the wrong way round.

Still, we’re sticking with our predictions for the Sprint with Pendleton’s fine form taking her into the Final and past Meares who’ll take the Silver. We’re slightly less confident that China’s Shuang Guo can overcome Germany’s Kristina Vogel, but we still think the Chinese sprinter just has the edge.

Heat 1
PENDLETON Victoria GBR

VOGEL Kristina GER

Heat 2
MEARES Anna AUS

GUO Shuang CHN

Women’s Omnium

This one really is finely balanced – and we think we may have got our predictions wrong here. The 3km Pursuit will be closely contested by our four favorites – Trott, Hammer, Annette Edmondson of Australia and Tara Whitten of Canada. And the only rider likely to challenge Trott in the closing 500m Time Trial is Clara Sanchez of France – who’s out of the running for the overall.

So, like the Men’s Omnium, the Scratch Race will be key. To add an Olympic title to her rainbow jersey, Trott will almost certainly need to finish ahead of Hammer and, probably Edmondson.

After a day of competition, we’re still as confident as we were in our prediction for Gold – but it’s going to be close – and we now think the battle for Silver and Bronze will be between Edmondson and Hammer.

Standings after 3 events
1 TROTT Laura GBR 12

2 HAMMER Sarah USA 12
3 EDMONDSON Annette AUS 17
4 WHITTEN Tara CAN 18
5 D’HOORE Jolien BEL 20
6 WOJTYRA Malgorzata POL 24

Men’s Keirin

Current World Champion Sir Chris Hoy will overtake Bradley Wiggins to become the most successful British Olympian if he wins the Keirin and his form in the Team Sprint and the fact that he hasn’t had the exertion of the Sprint competition since winning that Gold medal probably make him the slight favourite.

But the Keirin is a competition where anything can happen – and one with a lot of competition for the medals. Challenging Hoy will be former World Champions Max Levy of Germany, Teun Mulder of the Netherlands and Shane Perkins of Australia – as well as Keirin specialist Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia.

And if you like slightly longer odds, Njisane Philip of Trinidad and Tobago, Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand, Mickael Bourgain of France and Christos Volikakis of Greece might be worth a punt.

We’re going to take the easy option, though, in our predicitons…

trackcycling predictions

GOLD Chris Hoy GBR
SILVER Shane Perkins AUS
BRONZE Azizulhasni Awang MAS

Heat 1
PERALTA GASCON Juan ESP

HOY Chris GBR
WATANABE Kazunari JPN
van VELTHOOVEN Simon NZL
BORISOV Sergey RUS
PHILLIP Njisane Nicholas TRI

Heat 2
PERKINS Shane AUS

ZHANG Miao CHN
LEVY Maximilian GER
MULDER Teun NED
KUCZYNSKI Kamil POL
CANELON Hersony VEN

Heat 3
VELOCE Joseph CAN

PUERTA ZAPATA Fabian Hernando COL
SPICKA Denis CZE
BOURGAIN Mickael FRA
VOLIKAKIS Christos GRE
AWANG Azizulhasni MAS

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