Olympic Track & Field 2012: Complete Medal Predictions for Mens Events
Track and field is one of the most popular events in the Summer Olympics.
From who's the world's fastest man to who's the world's best athlete, the Olympics provide fans with just a little bit of everything.
In London, many of the men's events are wide open.
In my opinion, I think they're more wide open than they've been in a long time.
Here's a look at my predictions for all men's track and field events at the 2012 Olympics.
100 and 200 Meters
Gold: Yohan Blake, Jamaica
Silver: Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Bronze: Justin Gatlin, USA
Analysis: My first prediction may be the most controversial. Not many believe that Blake can beat Bolt on the Olympic stage, even though he did so at the Jamaican Olympic Trials. Call this a gut instinct, but I think Blake pulls the biggest upset of Olympic track and field and gains the title of World's Fastest Man. Gatlin taking home bronze is redemption for him after a four-year ban for use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Gold: Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Silver: Wallace Spearmon, USA
Bronze: Yohan Blake, Jamaica
Analysis: Bolt will hold onto his title in the 200 meters as I think he easily outdistances Spearmon and Blake in the final 50 meters. It will be a bit of redemption for Bolt after he loses to Blake in the 100. Still, a gold and a silver in the two sprint events at the Olympics is nothing to sneeze about.
400 and 800 Meters
Gold: LaShawn Merritt, USA
Silver: Kirani James, Grenada
Bronze: Luguelin Santos, Dominican Republic
Analysis: Merritt has run the fastest time in the world this year (44.12), which is 0.3 seconds faster than the next fastest. He's truly showing he's the best at this event. If you saw the U.S. Olympic Trials, he easily ran away from the competition, which is something I think he'll do again in London.
Gold: David Rudisha, Kenya
Silver: Abraham Rotich, Kenya
Bronze: Mohammed Aman, Ethiopia
Analysis: Rudisha has the fastest time in the world in the 800 by more than two seconds. And that only happened two weeks ago, so you know he's at his best. Should he slip a little, Rotich could take the gold, but I'm still sticking with Rudisha as the winner.
Gold: Nixon Chepseba, Kenya
Silver: Abel Kiru, Kenya
Bronze: Silas Kiplagat, Kenya
Analysis: When you look at the 1,500 meters nowadays, it's almost like a sprint the entire race. But, it's an event the Kenyans have dominated for a long time, and one I think they will sweep the medals in London. Honestly, these three runners (along with many others) can all get their times under 3:30. It's going to come down to who has the most gas left on the final lap.
Gold: Abel Kirui, Kenya
Silver: Wilson Kipsang, Kenya
Bronze: Emmanuel Mutai, Kenya
Analysis: The marathon is one of the hardest Olympic events to predict because of the length of the race and the possibility of injury to any runners. With that said, the safe pick for me is to predict an Olympic sweep for Kenya. After all, you can't go wrong when you pick Kenyans to win a long-distance race.
3,000-Meter Steeplechase, 5,000 and 10,000 Meters
Gold: Galen Rupp, USA
Silver: Mo Farah, Great Britain
Bronze: Dejen Gebremeskel, Ethiopia
Analysis: Call me crazy, but I got a hunch that Rupp will win the first U.S. gold medal in the 5,000 meters since Bob Schul did in the 1964 Olympics. He has the drive and the ability to hang with the lead pack throughout the race. Then, with about a lap to go, he'll make his move for the win. Farah's second-place finish will be a disappointment for the home fans, but it's still Britain's first medal in the 5,000 since the 1972 Olympics.
Gold: Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia
Silver: Mo Farah, Great Britain
Bronze: Tariku Bekele, Ethiopia
Analysis: The brothers Bekele will shine again for Ethiopia as Kenenisa will win his third-straight 10,000-meter gold medal, something that's only happened one time before in an individual Olympic running event (Poland's Robert Korzeniowski). Farah will again finish second for his country.
Gold: Ezekiel Kemboi, Kenya
Silver: Kiprop Mutai, Kenya
Bronze: Brimin Kipruto, Kenya
Analysis: Sometimes you just don't know a lot about a particular event and you just go with your gut. And, as I stated in a previous slide, you can never go wrong when you pick Kenyans to win Olympic long-distance medals. So, this is what I'm going with.
110-Meter and 400-Meter Hurdles
Gold: Aries Merritt, USA
Silver: Liu Xiang, China
Bronze: Dayron Robles, Cuba
Analysis: Can you say upset for the Americans? Xiang is considered the best hurdler in the world, while Robles is the defending Olympic champion. But, Merritt comes in with the fastest time in the world, and is the only one to run under 12.99 in the last two months in a non wind-aided event.
Gold: Angelo Taylor, USA
Silver: Javier Culson, Puerto Rico
Bronze: Dai Green, Great Britain
Analysis: I have every reason to pick Culson to win the gold, but I'm not going to go with that. While Culson has the fastest time in the world this year, I know you can never count Taylor out. He's the defending Olympic champion and also won the event in the 2000 Olympics. I believe he'll do the same and go out as one of the greatest Olympic hurdlers of all time. Still, he's not in Edwin Moses' class.
Gold: Ashton Eaton, USA
Silver: Pascal Behrenbruch, Germany
Bronze: Trey Hardee, USA
Analysis: This is honestly a competition for the silver medal. Eaton is hands down the best athlete in the world, the title given to the Olympic decathlon champion. His world-record set at the U.S. Olympic Trials will be bested again as I think he'll hit at least 9,100 points—and maybe even more.
Long Jump and Triple Jump
Gold: Greg Rutherford, Great Britain
Silver: Sebastian Bayer, Germany
Bronze: Sergey Morgunov (Russia)
Analysis: Rutherford will bring home Britain's only gold medal in track and field, but will do so in grand style. He's been one of the top long jumpers in the world throughout the year, and the push of the home crowd will put him over the top.
Gold: Christian Taylor, USA
Silver: Will Claye, United States
Bronze: Fabrizio Donato, Italy
Analysis: In 2008 I was covering the Georgia High School Track and Field Championships, and I remember watching Taylor compete in the 400 meters, long jump, triple jump and 400-meter relay. He won state titles in all four, but it was the triple jump where he was most impressive. And, he's continued that on the international level as he's the defending world champion. Honestly, as long as he hits his mark, I think he's a shoo-in for the gold medal.
Pole Vault and High Jump
Gold: Renaud Lavillenie, France
Silver: Bjoern Otto, Germany
Bronze: Brad Walker, USA
Analysis: Lavillenie has been the best in the world this year in the pole vault and seems to show up more than anyone in the biggest meets. That's what I think he'll do in the Olympics as well. Walker's bronze will put the U.S. back in the medals with this event after missing out in 2008.
Gold: Ivan Ukhov, Russia
Silver: Andrey Silnov, Russia
Bronze: Jesse Williams, USA
Analysis: There's only one person in this field that I think can jump over eight feet. Because of that potential, there's no way that I can put someone over Ukhov. Although it will be close, I think it's Ukhov's gold to lose.
Gold: Reese Hoffa, USA
Silver: Ryan Whiting, USA
Bronze: David Storl, Germany
Analysis: Hoffa is just a beast when he's throwing the shot. He and Whiting are showing their full potentials right before the Olympics, and I think it will carry over into the competition. Storl could also sneak in there for the gold, but I think the Americans are most likely going to take the top two spots.
Gold: Vitezslav Vesely, Czech Republic
Silver: Andreas Thorkildsen, Norway
Bronze: Oleksandr Pyatnytsya, Ukraine
Analysis: Vesely has the top throw of anyone in the world this year by more than six feet, and has bested the next highest throw of 283', 9'' four other times this year. That alone makes me think he'll win the gold medal. If Thorkildsen wins, however, it will be his third Olympic gold in a row.
Gold: Robert Harting, Germany
Silver: Virgilijus Alekna, Lithuania
Bronze: Gerd Kanter, Estonia
Analysis: Harting and Alenka are the only two throws to get the disc over 230 feet this year. The next closest was 226 feet. This is a two-man competition for the gold medal and I think Harting will come out on top.
Gold: Krisztian Pars, Hungary
Silver: Aleksey Zagorniy, Russia
Bronze: Szymon Ziolkowski, Poland
Analysis: Consistency has been the name of the game for Pars this year, and he's consistently remained at or near the top in every competition. The Olympics will be no different as I think he'll throw for more than 270 feet en route to the gold.
4x100 and 4x400
Bronze: Trinidad and Tobago
Analysis: DUH! Did you really think someone other than Jamaica would win this gold medal? Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake will lead the Jamaicans to the title as the U.S. will beat out Trinidad for the silver, which will be a lot closer of a distance than that between Jamaica and the U.S.
Analysis: The U.S. will easily break the three-minute mark in this one. They have a team led by LeShawn Merritt and should have no problem winning. The only question is, can they break the world record set in 1993 by another U.S. team that ran the relay with a time of 2:54.29.