By Lee Dover
Can Katie Taylor knock out the competition at London 2012?
OK, unless you have been living under a rock for the past seven years or so, there is a good chance you would have been wrapped up in the excitement surrounding the 2012 Olympic Games.
Even if you are just returning to civilisation – welcome back by the way – you will be pleased to hear that there are plenty of British and Irish prospects heading to the Olympic Park this July.
Anyone with even a passing interest in women’s boxing is likely to have heard the name Katie Taylor.
The 26-year-old from Bray, Co Wicklow has lit up the female boxing scene ever since she started breaking records in the ring at the age of 15.
Roll of Honour
Just look at Katie’s roll of honour – winner of Ireland’s first officially sanctioned women’s bout in 2001; the first Irish woman to win a gold medal at the Senior European Boxing Championships; a four-time World Amateur Championship winner; and a four-time European Union Amateur Championship victor.
Meanwhile, Brits are sure to be pinning a lot of their Olympic hopes on the cycling team once again leaving their rivals eating their dust in the velodrome.
Sir Chris Hoy cruised to three Olympic gold medals when Beijing hosted one of the most colourful sporting events in recent memory – even Queen Elizabeth was impressed enough to dust off her sword to honour the Englishman’s success on two wheels.
Four years later and Hoy is back in the hunt for more glory, with the Brit a short-priced-favourite to win the Men’s Keirin event and 11/4 to pick up gold in the Men’s sprint.
The thought of competing on home turf seems to have made Hoy most excited, with Sir Chris telling BBC Sport: “This is my fourth Olympics, but my first home Games, and it’s going to be an amazing experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all of us.”
All eyes are sure to be on Usain Bolt (25) when he contests the 100m and the Jamaican has told reporters he want to be remebered as a ‘living legend’ when Lodon 2012 is over. Bolt holds Olympic titles and World records at 100m and 200m and is back in full training after a minor car accident in Jamaica.