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The hunt for gold: Is today the day for Team GB?

by Josh Powell | July 31, 2012

GOING FOR GOLD: Day four and team GB still haven’t been on top of the podium

By Josh Powell

Olympic coverage on BBC1 and RTE2

It hasn’t worked out quite how everybody wanted for Team GB so far at London 2012. Many expected after the extravagance of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony that Mark Cavendish would destroy the field in Saturday’s road race and give Britain a taste of gold on day one.

That wasn’t the case and here we are on day four with no gold to show for our efforts. Georgia and Lithuania have each won one and Kazakhstan have two! To be fair Team GB have shown plenty of heart and the achievements of Lizzie Armistead, Rebecca Adlington and the gymnastic lads should be celebrated.

But although it wets the appetite for further success it doesn’t quite quench that thirst for gold. Could today be the day that all changes?

3.00pm Women’s 10 metre synchronised dive – Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch

Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield were unlucky not to get a medal after leading the men’s competition for so long but could the women achieve diving perfection? Barrow and Couch ended Britain’s 74-year-wait for a female European Diving Championship title earlier this year and are in fine form going in to this competition.

The pair are certainly in with a chance of a medal after their success in Eindhoven and will be performing five dives ending with a spectacular two-and-a-half somersault and one-and-a-half twist attempt. If they pull it off the aquatics centre will go bananas and it could provide Team GB with their first gold of the games.

4.30pm Women’s artistic gymnastics team event

Last night the men’s gymnastic team were minutes away from taking silver on the floor before an appeal from the Japanese saw them bumped down to bronze. It was still a pleasant surprise for a team that wasn’t expected to even qualify for the final and now the women’s team are hoping to emulate that success.

The team of Hannah Whelan, Jennifer Pinches, Imogen Cairns, Beth Tweddle and 15-year-old Rebecca Tunney qualified for the final ranked in fifth with a score of 170.656. The USA team are rightly favourites but if Team GB can take inspiration from the men’s performance there’s every chance they will be in amongst the medals.

7.40pm Women’s 200 metre freestyle – Caitlin McClatchey

Caitlin has an outside chance of taking gold in the pool tonight but if she performs like she did at the 2006 Commonwealth games it wouldn’t be a shock to see her on the podium. The 27-year-old Scottish swimmer stunned everybody by winning gold in both the 200 and 400 metre freestyle events in Melbourne and six years on will be aiming for similar glory.

She posted a time of 1.57.33 to reach the final after coming second in her semi and will have to pull out all the stops here. Her personal best in the 200 metre freestyle is 1.56.62, a time that three of the finalists beat to qualify at these games. It will take the performance of her life for Caitlin to take gold here but an impressive swim from the Scot could see her fighting it out for bronze.

8.40pm Women’s 200 metre individual medley – Hannah Miley

Hannah Miley is arguably stronger over 400 metres but can fight it out for gold in the 200 metres tonight. Miley has won gold for the 400 metre medley at the 2009 and 2010 European Championships and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She is also the European record holder over 400 metres and the national record holder over 200 metres. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a very impressive resume.

It won’t be easy for the 22-year-old this evening as she’s up against the suspiciously quick Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen. The 16-year-old blew the competition out of the water over 400 metres, smashing the world record and knocking five seconds off her personal best time. To be fair she has denied taking drugs to enhance her performance which makes you wonder how incredibly quick she would be if she did!

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