London 2012: Top 10 Medal Hopefuls on Australia's Olympic Swimming Team

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 21, 2012

London 2012: Top 10 Medal Hopefuls on Australia's Olympic Swimming Team

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    Throughout the history of the Olympic Games, Australia has always had a rich history of swimming performances with names like Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose, Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett going down in sporting history.

    Now the next wave of swimming hopefuls are coming through for the Aussies, with the 2012 London Olympics bound to create a superstar and a name that we remember forever.

    Here are the top 10 medal contenders for the Australian swimming team in the 2012 London Olympics.

10. Eamon Sullivan

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    Events: 50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay

    Fastest time in 2012: 21.88 set at Australian Olympic trials.

    As for the former world record holder over the 50m distance, Eamon Sullivan enters the Olympics with a great chance of taking out a medal.

    He may have lost his world record, as well as his mantle as Australia's top male sprinter, but he has in no way lost any of his determination and speed that saw him take out three medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

9. Bronte Barratt

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    Events: 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle

    Fastest time in 2012: 1.55.99 for 200m and 4.05.74 for 400m—both set at Australian Olympic trials.

    With a gold and a silver already next to her name after the Beijing Olympics, Bronte Barratt is once again proving to be a genuine contender at the London Olympics with blistering times in 2012.

    She broke a 29-year old Australian record in the 400m freestyle at just 18—showing to the world the bright future ahead of one of Australia's young-gun swimmers.

8. Jessicah Schipper

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    Events: 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly

    Fastest time in 2012: 57.88 for 100m and 2.06.93 for 200m—both set at Australian Olympic trials.

    After picking up bronze in both events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jessicah Schipper knows what has to be done to succeed in London, and her times so far in 2012 are suggesting that she's on the right track to do so.

7. Kylie Palmer

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    Events: 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle

    Fastest time in 2012: 1.56.04 for 200m, 4.03.40 for 400m and 8.26.60 for 800m—all set at Australian Olympic trials.

    Yet to prove herself on the Olympic stage, Kylie Palmer is a great chance for the Aussies in the London Olympics, with the 22-year-old posting blistering times in all three of her individual events so far in 2012.

    Her gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games proves that she has what it takes to succeed on the world stage and that she is a serious contender for all three events at the London Olympics.

6. Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay

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    Event: Men's 4x100m freestyle relay

    Likely swimmers: James Magnussen, Eamon Sullivan, James Roberts, Matt Targett

    The men's 4x100m freestyle relay is always one of the fiercest and most memorable events at the Olympics, and 2012 is shaping as no exception, with the Australian relay team looking the favorites for the event.

    All four swimmers are currently ranked in the top 15 swimmers in the world, with Magnussen and Roberts the only two men to swim sub-48 seconds in the event so far this year.

    They will certainly be tough to beat come the London Olympics.

5. Emily Seebohm

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    Event: 100m backstroke

    Fastest time in 2012: 59.28 set at the Australian Olympic trials.

    In 2007, Emily Seebohm clinched the 100m backstroke event at the Australian Swimming Championships—aged just 14.

    Now five years later—and still a teenager—Seebohm has the third fastest time of the year so far in her favorite event and looms as a great chance for the gold medal.

4. Christopher Wright

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    Events: 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly

    Fastest time in 2012: 51.67 for 100m, 1.56.40 for 200m—both set at Australian Olympic trials.

    With the fastest time in the world so far this year for the 100m, Christopher Wright is the man to catch heading in to the 2012 London Olympics.

    The injuries that plagued Wright throughout 2011 are nowhere to be seen, leaving the Aussie in a great position for the gold medal.

3. Nick D'Arcy

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    Event: 200m butterfly

    Fastest time in 2012: 1.54.71—set at the Australian Olympic Trials.

    Yes, you read it correctly—someone other than America's Michael Phelps could win the 200m butterfly at the London Olympics, and Australian Nick D'Arcy is one of the favorites to beat the American legend.

    D'Arcy has posted up the second-fastest time of the year so far for the 200m butterfly, and despite his troubled past, he enters the London Olympics full of confidence and belief.

    Mix in the fact that his time of 1.54.71 is over half a second quicker than that of Phelps' this year, and D'Arcy must be considered a genuine chance for gold in 2012.

2. Stephanie Rice

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    Events: 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley

    Fastest time in 2012: 2.09.38 for 200m, 4.33.45 for 400m—both set at Australian Olympic trials.

    After clinching three gold medals and three world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Stephanie Rice is no doubt one of the best Australian swimmers heading to the London Olympics.

    And with the fastest time in the 200m individual medley so far in 2012, Rice is bound to be a genuine contender right throughout the Olympics.

1. James Magnussen

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    Events: 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay

    Fastest time in 2012: 21.74 in 50m, 47.10 in 100m—both set at Australian Olympic trials.

    Australia's best medal chance at the London Olympics is James Magnussen, who will enter London with bragging rights as the fastest man in the world.

    His 21.74 in the 50m is only third fastest in the world this year (yes, only third!), with his blistering time in the 100m making him a top chance for gold in 2012.

    To put that time in to context, only one other man this year has swum a sub-48 seconds for the 100m—fellow Australian James Roberts, who still sits half a second away from the man making his Olympic debut.

    And what a debut performance it could well be.

     

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