Olympic Track and Field 2012: Medal Predictions for Thursday's Finals
Thursday has the potential to be the most memorable day of the entire 2012 Olympic track and field competition.
While Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake have already faced off in the prestigious 100-meter dash, a rematch in the 200 still awaits them.
The title of the greatest athlete in the world will also be dealt out to whoever wins gold in the decathlon.
The men’s triple jump, men's 800 and women’s javelin finals will also take place in the afternoon.
I know. You were up all night from anticipation.
Here are medal predictions for each event.
Men's Triple Jump
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Gold: Christian Taylor, USA
Silver: Will Claye, USA
Bronze: Leevan Sands, Bahamas
The men’s triple jump will present Team USA with an opportunity for a nice boost in its medal count. Christian Taylor and Will Claye are favored to finish first and second in the event.
Taylor won gold in the event at the 2011 World Championships and recorded the longest distance of the qualifiers at 17.21 meters. Claye only posted the seventh-longest distance, 16.87, but he won bronze at Worlds, so he definitely has the ability to bounce back.
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Gold: David Rudisha, Kenya
Silver: Mohammed Aman, Ethiopia
Bronze: Abubaker Kaki Khamis, Sudan
David Rudisha is incredible.
The 23-year-old Kenyan boasts the world record in the 800 as well as five of the fastest 10 times ever recorded. At the 2011 World Championships, he ran the 800 in a time of one minute, 43.91 seconds. Rudisha won gold and finished a half-second faster than the runner who took home silver.
He had no trouble winning his heat in the semifinals on Tuesday, outrunning Nick Symmonds and Co. by almost, again, a half-second.
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Gold: Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Silver: Yohan Blake, Jamaica
Bronze: Wallace Spearmon, USA
If you only looked at the semifinal times, it’d seem like the 200-meter final would go down to the wire with as many as five sprinters having a shot at gold. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you actually witnessed the semis, you’d know that Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake blew away the competition and coasted on the final stretch to save their energy. It’ll be a two-man race: Bolt, the fastest man alive, against his training partner.
No one else even has a shot for gold or silver.
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Gold: Barbora Spotakova, Czech Republic
Silver: Christina Obergfoll, Germany
Bronze: Martina Ratej, Slovenia
According to Bovada, Barbora Spotakova has 1/1 odds to win gold in the javelin final. I’d say she has a solid shot.
Spotakova is the defending Olympic champion. She also won silver in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
She recorded the furthest distance of the semifinals, recording a throw 66.19 meters long, but Christina Obergfoll wasn’t far behind. The German recorded a 66.14 and will push Spotakova on Thursday.
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Gold: Ashton Eaton, USA
Silver: Trey Hardee, USA
Bronze: Leonel Suarez, Cuba
Through five events, decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton has a 220-point lead on Trey Hardee. Will the two-time World Champion catch the elite decathlete?
That’d be highly unlikely.
Eaton has recorded the highest score of the field in the 100, 400 and long jump as well second in the high jump. He hasn’t even participated in the 100-meter hurdles yet—one of three events in which he holds a decathlon record. He’s simply too dominant in too many events to be knocked off.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.