By Keith Miller
Each Olympic Year, Brian Cazeneuve from Sports Illustrated does a wonderful, wonderful thing. The veteran journalist scours all 306 events on offer at the Olympics, and works out who he reckons will be on the podium in each event.
It’s a fascinating, laborious and ultimately futile exercise, but a fantastic achievement nonetheless. Every sport, every category, every weight division, every discipline – and this year, he reckons that the following New Zealanders will feature:-
GOLD MEDALS – 8:
Lisa Carrington – Kayak Singles 200mtrs
Lisa Carrington – Kayak Singles 500mtrs
Mens Cycling – Team Sprint
Linda Villumsen – Cycling Time Trial
Mahe Drysdale – Rowing Single Sculls
Hamish Bond & Eric Murray – Rowing Pair without Coxswain
Mens Rugby Sevens
Peter Burling & Blair Tuke – Sailing 49er Skiff
Eddie Dawkins – Cycling Keirin
Lydia Ko – Golf
Chris Harris & Robbie Manson – Rowing Double Sculls
Mens Rowing Lightweight Four without Coxswain
Emma Twigg – Rowing Single Sculls
Womens Rowing Eight
Womens Rugby Sevens
Valerie Adams – Shot Put
BRONZE MEDALS – 3:
Eve MacFarlane & Zoe Stevenson – Rowing Double Sculls
Rebecca Scown & Genevieve Behrent – Rowing Pair without Coxswain
Men’s Team Pursuit
There are some notable athletes missing from his list. No Lauren Boyle, no Tom Walsh, no Polly Powrie & Jo Aleh. There are a few others who would rate as solid chances to at least medal (the Womens’ hockey team is a good example), and others who could be considered outside chances to sneak onto the Podium – the likes of Eliza McCartney, or even Nick Willis.
Some on this list will be looking at higher honours (Val Adams the standout there), while others could be considered fortunate to finish as high as predicted (both Sevens Teams). There may be some surprise over Lydia Ko not being a lock in for Gold, but the topsy-turvy nature of golf almost makes it a lottery when it comes to this kind of exercise.
Linda Villumsen is the interesting one here. Incredibly consistent in the big rides, but her brilliant Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow was her first real breakthrough. It will be very interesting to see if she can kick on from that. She has slipped well and truly under the radar, and could be a sneaky gold as predicted.
As far events that New Zealand has a solid history in, Cazeneuve is predicting no medals in the Equestrian, and only one in the Sailing. Not surprisingly, most of our medals are predicted to come via the water, or on two wheels.
I’ll be following all results keenly to see exactly how well Bran Cazeneuve’s predictions perform. 19 medals would be above the 14 predicted by High Performance New Zealand, but below the 25 predicted here by Gracenote. Either way, it looks more than promising that we’ll be bringing home more medals than any other Games.
Overall, 8 Golds seems about right. And whoever grabs out first medal will be the 100th medallist for New Zealand at the Summer Olympics.
I’ll be watching Rio 2016 when you can’t, so follow me on Twitter
Many thanks to Hamish Girvan for forwarding the document on – follow him on Twitter