The last time Mo Farah was defeated at major finals in either the 5,000m and 10,000m was back at the worlds in Daegu in 2011, where he trailed Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia in the 10k. It would, therefore, be a pretty sizable shock if the Olympic, European and world champion did not retain the golds he secured in London.
Mo Farah of Britain poses after winning the men's 5000 metres final at the 15th IAAF Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 29, 2015.
Image credit: Reuters
Jessica Ennis-Hill – Athletics
Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton goes to Rio as the favourite but the Canadian also went to the 2015 World Athletics Championships as the heptathlete to beat only to see Ennis-Hill triumph. Ennis-Hill has been blighted by injury since her 2014 sabbatical to give birth to her first son. However, should she go to Rio injury free, there is no reason that she should not emerge a double Olympic champion.
Lizzie Armitstead – Cycling
Armitstead claimed silver in London four years ago but has since claimed gold at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships. Throw into the mix a stellar 2016 that has seen Armitstead claim Strade Bianche, Trofeo Alfredo Binda and the Tour of Flanders, and she looks a lock for gold in the road race.
Adam Peaty – Swimming
Peaty, 21, came to prominence in 2014 when he took gold in the 100m breaststroke and 4x100m Medley Relay at the Commonwealths but more was to come. It was 2015 when he announced his Olympic credentials as he broke three world records on his way to golds in the 50m and 100m breaststroke as well as the 4x100m Medley Relay at the World Championships in Kazan.
Gold medalist Britain's Adam Peaty poses with his medal after the final
Image credit: AFP
Nicola Adams – Boxing
Adams’ record since 2012:
2012 Olympics – gold
2013 European Union Amateur Championships – gold
2014 Commonwealth Games – gold
2015 European Games – gold
2016 World Amateur Championship – gold
The smart money is on gold at the Olympics.
The Brit, buoyed by a Wimbledon win, is the defending champion and is second favourite behind world number one Novak Djokovic.
MOST SUCCESSFUL SPORTS FROM 2012
Team GB won five or more medals in cycling, rowing, athletics, boxing and Equestrian.
However, Team GB will probably struggle to improve on their haul of 65 from London at the upcoming Olympics in Rio that get underway on Friday August 5?
Prior to the 2012 Games, the same company forecasted a haul of 67, so offer a pretty accurate perspective on things.
So, where might those potential 51 come from?
Cycling - 2012 record: eight golds, two silvers and two bronzes at 2012
Lizzie Armitstead, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are GB’s best hopes of goal in Rio.
Armistead, who claimed silver in the road race in London, will once again resume her battle with Marianne Vos, who claimed gold in London. Trott is favourite to defend her 2012 gold in the Omnium, with Kenny expected to defend his sprint title.
Kenny and Trott doubled up in the team sprints at London but while both teams are in contention to medal in Rio, neither are likely to claim gold. Expect the men to take silver and the women bronze.
Notable mentions to Mark Cavendish, who has been in superb form for Dimension Data and claimed four stage wins at the Tour de France, and, of course, Chris Froome.
Projected total: Gold: 3, Silver: 1, Bronze: 1
Great Britain celebrates on the medals podium after receiving the gold medal in the women's elite road race in the UCI road world championships 2015 at the Richmond Road Circuit.
Image credit: Reuters
Rowing – 2012 record: four golds, two silver and three bronze in London
The men’s eight were on course to claim surprise gold ahead of defending Olympic champions Canada and reigning champions Germany but faded to take a very respectable bronze in a hard-fought race back in 2012.
However, the men’s eight come to Rio as world champions and favourites.
Rowing, historically fertile ground for British medals, should prove so again with the men’s four expected to defend their gold from London along with the women’s pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, who also head to Rio having taken gold at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.
The men’s pair of James Foad and Matthew Langridge are expected to take silver while the men’s quadruple sculls could take bronze.
Projected total: Gold: 3, Silver: 1, Silver: 1
Athletics - 2012 record: four golds, one silver and 1 bronze
Who can forget day 8 of the 2012 Games? Or to give it its proper name: Super Saturday. It was GB’s most successful day at an Olympics since the 1908 also held in London.
GB claimed six golds on 4th August with two in rowing and one in the cycling earlier in the day but the real action happened at the Olympic Stadium, where in the space of 46 minutes Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah claimed golds in their respective fields.
Farah is expected to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m while Rutherford, who defended his European gold in Amsterdam in early July with a jump of 8.40m, should face stiff competition in Rio. Jeff Henderson claimed the US trials in Eugene with a jump of 8.58m. However, world champion Rutherford is renowned for raising his game.
Ennis-Hill, a two-time world champion, has struggled with injury in recent years and faces stern competition from Theisen-Thompson while Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who placed 15th in London, could be an outside bet for a medal.
Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill comforts heartbroken Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Image credit: Reuters
Projected total - Gold: 3, Silver: 1, Bronze: 0.
Boxing – 2012 record: three golds, one silver and one bronze
Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell both turned professional having claimed gold in the super heavyweight and bantamweight respectively. Nicola Adams, GB’s other gold medallist, remains amongst the amateur ranks and is favourite to defend her flyweight crown.
Middleweight Savannah Marshall, who was defeated at the quarter-final stage in London, is expected to challenge for bronze in Rio.
Projected total - Gold 1, Silver 0, Bronze 1
Equestrian – three golds, one silver and one bronze
GB claimed two golds in dressage, one sliver in eventing and a bronze in show jumping.
Scott Brash, who took home gold in the team jumping event back in 2012, will almost certainly medal in the individual event this time out, and is hoping to claim gold.
Scott Brash of Britain riding Hello Sanctos performs during the equestrian individual jumping final at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Image credit: Reuters
GB are set to once again hold their own in the dressage, with silvers expected in the team and individual women’s dressage events.
OTHER GOLD MEDAL CONTENDERS
Max Whitlock - gymnastics
James Guy -swimming
Giles Scott – Sailing (M Finn)
Nick Thompson Sailing (M Laser)
Bryony Shaw – Sailing (W RS:X)
Bianca Walkden - Taekwondo
GB are in rude health - a haul of 51 would be GB's third most productive Olympics after London 1908 and 2012.