The Olympic Story part 3: Britannia rules the waves

R. Adlington (GBR)

 In part 1 of this series we analyzed why Great Britain (GBR) fell short of reaching a better spot than 6th in the GSN Beijing Olympics ranking.

In part 2  we probed deeper into the Beijing results, focusing on GBR’s performance in Athletics, where we also picked the likeliest golds for London 2012.

We now continue our sport-by-sport review, comparing Beijing results with London forecasts.
In the Beijing Olympics Swimming  events GBR was 3rd overall…or rather first of the others, as the USA (23,2%) and Australia (14,7%)  between them cornered nearly 40% of the points!
GBR Men were 8th, with only one medal to their credit (silver in the 10km Marathon) and once again it was the Women who flew the flag with an excellent 3rd place behind…the USA and Australia. Their Olympic booty was two golds in the 800m and 400m Freestyle, two bronze in the 400m Freestyle and 10km Marathon plus  9 more placements, 3 of which in Freestyle again.
GBR has slipped somewhat in 2011, with a 5th place overall at the Shanghai World Swimming Championship. The Men finished only 10th but the Women were an excellent 4th. Again it’s Freestyle that did it in Shanghai for the GBR Ladies: gold in the 800m, silvers in the 400m Freestyle, the 400m Individual Medley and the 200m Butterfly, plus 10 more counts!
We’re looking at a possible 7 medals, most of which hopefully gold-tinted.
The strongest prospects are (recent achievements in brackets):
Freestyle, where Team GBR is strongest:
Becky Adlington for a gold in the 800m freestyle and a placement in the 400m (double gold in Beijing, gold and silver in Shanghai, and 2011 season record in the 800m freestyle)
Joanne Jackson for a medal placement in the 400m freestyle  (bronze in Beijing and short course world record holder in the 400m freestyle)
Francesca Halsall  for a medal placement in the 400m Freestyle (4th in the 100m Freestyle in Shanghai 2011), with the Scots lass  Megan Gilchrist a possible outsider in the 800m freestyle.
Back stroke: Elizabeth Simmonds finished 4th in Shanghai  in the 100m by only 33 hundreds of a second and must be a medal hopeful!
Butterfly: Gemma Lowe clocked 3rd time of the season in 200m and 6th in 100m, so she too is a strong medal challenger
Medley: Hanna Miley was 3rd in the 400m and 9th in the 100m 2011 timings, she’s another medal challenger.
The outlook is not as bright in the Relays: the 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay hit 7th time of the 2011 season and is the only relay on the board.
It’ll be a tough hunt for medals for GBR Swimming Men: the highest-ranked British swimmer in the FINA world rankings 2011 was James Goddard, 6th in the 200 Individual Medley, followed by team mate J. Roebuck. Liam Tancock was 8th in the 100m Back stroke ranking and James Goddard again was 8th in 200m Back stroke table. C. Gilchrist makes a lone apparition in 8th place in the 200m Breaststroke. There’s no one on the horizon in Freestyle and Butterfly, while the best relay is the 200m Medley Relay, ranked 7th with over 8 seconds behind the USA!
Any medal would be a bonus, and two would mean an improvement over Beijing 2008.