Summer Olympics 2012: Four Bold Predictions for London

Glenn BorokContributor IIIJuly 25, 2012

DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 04:  Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake of Jamaica pose with their gold medals during the medal ceremony forthe men's 4x100 metres relay final during day nine of 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Daegu Stadium on September 4, 2011 in Daegu, South Korea.  (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

1) Yohan Blake will win gold medals in both the men’s 200 meter and 100 meter races.

Most casual fans assume that Usain Bolt, who captured the world’s imagination with his world record feats in Beijing, will dominate both races, and easily capture his fourth and fifth Olympic gold medals. However, as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend”. A quick look beneath the surface shows that Bolt recently lost to Blake, his training partner, at the Jamaican time trials for the Olympics. In addition, he quickly flew to Germany to have his still problematic hamstring seen by renowned doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahr and withdrew from the Monaco Diamond League meeting, his last tune-up before the Games begin.

Despite the fact that Bolt is obviously distracted and/or injured, many believe his talent will simply be too much for Blake to overcome. Nevertheless, many fail to realize that Blake is a budding superstar in his own right, and has the sheer ability it will take to defeat the popular Bolt in these two events. After a quick review of Bolts’ slow starts and bad recent run of form, it seems a good bet that Blake will be the man to beat in the 100 and 200 meter races.

2) Roger Federer will take home the Gold Medal for individual men’s tennis.

The legend is back after winning his seventh Wimbledon title just over three weeks ago, at the same venue where the games will host the tennis tournament. Federer, ranked number one by the ATP, will have to overcome stiff competition from 2012 Wimbledon finalist and British hopeful Andy Murray, as well as former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. However, for Federer, there is no better place to play then the ground where only the great Sampras has tied his records. Federer will reign supreme as his good form on grass continues, beating Novak in the final in 4 sets. 

3) America will beat China in total medals and gold medals.

The American team easily won the total medal count in 2008, when Beijing hosted the Games but the Chinese were able to take home the most gold medals. However, with domination in the main Olympic medal grabbing events (swimming and track), the Americans will take back their rightful spot on top. The Chinese will dominate the slightly more obscure events like table tennis and diving, but the large hauls will be in events like track and swimming that are in the Americans wheelhouse. Be prepared for the Americans to forget about the economy for a week or two, and be proud that America finished first once again.

4) Ryan Lochte will defeat Michael Phelps in both of their head to head match-ups.

Phelps secured his status as an Olympic legend four years ago, his record haul of 8 gold medals turning him into a global icon and one of the most popular athletes in America. However, he will be up against more than just the weight of expectation and past accomplishments in London, his presumed career swansong where he is entered in seven events; this time, unlike in Beijing, Phelps looks to have a genuine challenger in the form of countryman Ryan Lochte. Lochte (who won a gold in 2008 on the relay team with Phelps) was long considered something of an enigma in the swimming world, his raw talent seemingly stifled by a lack of maturity and work ethic. In recent years, however, the native New Yorker has channeled his raw potential into an end product, a strict and directed training regimen paying off as he enters the Olympics as the hottest athlete in the sport, having been voted American and World Swimmer of the Year in 2010 and 2011. At the Olympic Trials held in late June, while Lochte finished a narrow second to Phelps in the 200 meter individual medley, he won the 400 meter individual medley by a more decisive margin, and currently holds the world record in both events. Lochte and Phelps will go head to head in both races yet again in London, and don’t be surprised to see Lochte come on top and claim his crown as America’s new sweetheart.