2012 Summer Olympics

London 2012 Predictions: Teenagers with Best Chance at Gold

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24:  Missy Franklin of the United States swims during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 24, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJuly 25, 2012

Olympic competition often brings out the very best in young athletes from around the globe, and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London will be no different.

In this year's Games, there will be many athletes who are still of high school age or slightly older that will make their mark with a gold medal.

Here are some teenagers in London with a great chance to take home some gold.

 

Missy Franklin, 17, United States: Swimming

At age 17, Franklin will have incredibly high expectations of her coming into the 2012 London Games, but that doesn't erase the fact that she is one of the most talented swimmers on the planet.

That pressure wasn't a problem for Franklin during qualifiers as she was good enough to get the nod in all four of her individual events and three relays. Putting talent aside, her record-breaking number of events gives her plenty of chances to capture at least one gold.

Having swum at the Beijing Trials in 2008 as a 13-year-old, this young lady has much more experience than most her age, and that should help her rise to the occasion when called upon.

 

McKayla Maroney, 16, United States: Gymnastics

With the U.S. women's gymnastics team looking as sharp as ever this year, it's almost a given Maroney will take home gold in some way, shape or form.

However, individually, she has a great shot to do the same.

After becoming a World Champion on the vault in 2011, Maroney is favored to win the same event at the London Games in 2012. Her versatility in multiple facets of the sport makes her a shoo-in to take home at least one gold this year.

 

Viktoria Komova, 17, Russia: Gymnastics

This young gymnast gave it her all at the 2011 World Championships, but it still wasn't enough to win the all-around gold. But if there was anything to build off of after her silver-medal performance last year, it's that she still flourished even with an injured ankle.

Komova is a great all-around gymnast, and her ability on the uneven bars is second to none.

Now that she's healthy and ready for the London Games, there's no reason to believe Komova can't improve on her silver-medal finish in 2011 and earn some gold in 2012.

 

Qiu Bo, 19, China: Diving

At the 2011 World Championships, Qiu Bo simply dominated his competition, and shortly thereafter, he was named 2011 Swimming World Diver of the Year.

Qiu is the whole package with great all-around ability that makes him a favorite in this year's London Games in the 10-meter individual and synchronized events.

Seeing as how he'll be competing in multiple events in London with a ton of talent to boot, it's only a matter of time before Qiu is holding an Olympic gold medal in his hands.

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