Home heroes: Five GB contenders in Rio you may not have heard of
No sporting event on the planet offers the opportunity for competitors to become heroes in the blink of an eye quite like an Olympics, and this summer’s Rio Games look set to do just that for another bunch of Team Great Britain’s medal hopefuls.
It happened to Rebecca Adlington in Beijing eight years ago, it was bestowed upon Dame Kelly Holmes in Athens in 2004, and four years prior Audley Harrison announced himself with Gold in Australia.
This year sees stars like Mo Farah, Jess Ennis-Hill and Andy Murray lead the charge for GB’s medal haul in Brazil, but that trio are just three of a squad ready to go and seek glory.
Some will – hopefully – come back from Rio as heroes and household names with a medal around their neck, and we’ve dug out five from GB who we think you might be a lot more familiar with when the tournament is over…
Muhammad Ali – Boxing
It won’t be difficult to remember this Bury-born boxer’s name should he bag a medal in Rio.
The 20-year-old will be competing at Flyweight, and with a strong C.V under his belt, has every reason to be confident of going the distance.
Ali claimed Silver in last year’s European Championships, and is the 2015 England Boxing National Elite Champion, and is also an Olympic Youth Games bronze medallist.
Desiree Henry – Athletics
Henry was chosen as one of a select group of seven up-and-coming athletes for light the Torch for London four years ago, and fittingly, the 200m runner has come full circle.
Now 20, Henry is one of the biggest hopes for British Women’s sprinting and is already the third-fastest female sprinter in GB history.
The Enfield runner produced her 100m PB of 11.06sec this year, and though a medal may be beyond her this summer, Henry is a star of the future, so you’d best learn the name!
Alison Young – Sailing
Some of you may recognise the name from London 2012, where Alison Young finished fifth, but four years on, the Laser Radial competitor is sailing for a medal.
The 28-year-old is in great form to bag a top three spot, having claimed Gold at the World Championships earlier this year.
Young has stated that her focus this year has always been on the Games, and that there is room for improvement. It all bodes well for a medal.
Adam Peaty – Swimming
Britain endured a trying Olympics in the pool four years ago, landing just three medals – no Golds – but now the Team are back with a vengeance and one of the biggest hopes for a Gold is Adam Peaty.
The 21-year-old is competing in the 100m Breastroke, and is the current world record holder in both of the 50m and 100m events.
Peaty is also going in the 4x100m medley, so don’t be surprised if he sees something of an Adlington-effect this summer.
James Guy – Swimming
Like Peaty, James Guy could become a familiar name in living rooms up and down the land.
Swimming fans will be no stranger to the 20-year-old, who shone at last year’s World Aquatics Championships and at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but it’s the whole nation who may soon know Guy’s name.
Competing in the 200m and 400m Freestyle – and national record holder in both -, Guy is particularly formidable in the former, where he is the reigning world champion, and junior world record holder.
*Ladbrokes is not an official sponsor of the Olympics and is in no way affiliated with any of the competing athletes, events or competitions being held in Rio de Janeiro this summer*.