Sport

Magnificent 7 you won't want to miss

A fully fit Usain Bolt should be too good in London, but will lightning strike twice?
A fully fit Usain Bolt should be too good in London, but will lightning strike twice? Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

THE Olympics provides the world with some of the most compelling stories and rivalries in sport. Talking points are plentiful and athletes abundant. But here are seven showdowns you won't want to miss during the London Games.

YOHAN BLAKE (JAMAICA) versus USAIN BOLT (JAMAICA)
Athletics: Men's 100m

Ask most people and it's not "if" Bolt will win three gold medals in London, but whether he can break his world records on the way. However, fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake may have a say in that, having claimed the 100m at the 2011 world championships after Bolt false-started to earn a disqualification. Since then there have been doubts about Bolt's fitness, with rumours of hamstring trouble getting some traction after Blake beat Bolt at the recent Jamaican trials in 9.75 seconds, the fourth fastest time in history. Asafa Powell wasn't far away at those trials either, while Americans Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin have also put some recent good form on the board. A fully fit Bolt should be too good in London, but will lightning strike twice?

 

ANNA MEARES (AUSTRALIA) versus VICTORIA PENDLETON (GREAT BRITAIN)
Cycling: Women's track

It will be the Ashes on wheels, and you can be sure that the biggest rivalry on the track won't disappoint. Meares and Pendleton have long been the top two female sprinters in the world and their battle in London is going to be one of the highlights of the Games. Both are really competitive and never give an inch. Pendleton, the reigning Olympic champion, won bragging rights the last time they met after winning the world title in Melbourne earlier this year.

 

JAMES MAGNUSSEN (AUSTRALIA) versus CESAR CIELO (BRAZIL)
Swimming: Men's 100m freestyle

Australia's James Magnussen is the current world champion and has the fastest time (47.10) in a textile suit. Brazil's Cesar Cielo is the current world record holder, having stopped the clock at 46.91 when he won gold at the 2009 World Championships, but has struggled a little over the distance recently. But maybe Magnussen's rival will come from elsewhere - don't discount fellow Aussie James Roberts.

 

MICHAEL PHELPS (USA) versus RYAN LOCHTE (USA)
Swimming: Men's 400m individual medley / 200m individual medley

The world's two best swimmers go head-to-head in the sport's two multi-discipline events and both races will be incredible. A six-time World Swimmer of the Year, Phelps is the defending Olympic champion in both events, while "The Lochtenator" won both at the past two world championships after finishing with bronze behind Phelps in both in Beijing. After beating Phelps at the US trials Lochte said: "Once I was able to beat Michael, it gave me a motivation, an edge. I told myself, I can do this. Once I beat someone, they won't beat me again". Will this be the case in London?

 

SALLY PEARSON (AUSTRALIA) versus KELLIE WELLS (USA)
Athletics: Women's 100m hurdles

Pearson would have been filthy after losing to Wells in her final competitive run before the Olympics in the recent Diamond League meeting in London. Pearson, whose competitors refer to her as the 'angry white girl' looked even angrier after what was just her second defeat in two years and 34 races. A week before her defeat, the Gold Coaster had won the Paris Grand Prix in a time of 12.40secs, while Wells clocked 12.57 secs to win in London. The loss showed Pearson is only human, but she knows now that she'll need to be at her best if she wants revenge.

 

JORDYN WIEBER (USA) versus ALIYA MUSTAFINA (RUSSIA)
Gymnastics: Women's Individual All-Around

A classic post Cold War rivalry is expected to heat up as the USA and Russia battle it out for women's gymnastics supremacy. Mustafina was the all-around world champion in 2010, while Wieber claimed the title in 2011 after Mustafina gave the championships a miss to recover from knee surgery. While World Championships are important, everyone remembers the Olympic gold medallist and there is a very small window of time for these competitors to claim their chance for glory.

 

SHANE PERKINS (AUSTRALIA) versus CHRIS HOY (GREAT BRITAIN)
Cycling: Men's keirin

At 36, Scotland's Sir Chris Hoy is one of the legends of the sport of cycling. A four-time Olympic gold medallist, he became the first Briton to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games since 1908 in Beijing and is the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time. Standing in the way of another victory in the keirin is 2011 world champion, Australian Shane Perkins. They will also clash in the team sprint; Hoy as part of the reigning Olympic champions and Perkins as part of the Australian team that snatched the 2012 world title in Melbourne.

Topics:  anna meares, james magnussen, london olympics, sally pearson, usain bolt



Judges gobsmacked by quality of orchids on show

COLOURFUL CHARACTERS: The president of the Maclean District Orchid Society Terry Bird with the table full of champions from this year's show.

Clarence orchid club's 25th show stuns the judges.

Junior golfer makes the most of regional opportunity

Lucas Higgins gets a hug off his dad after winning the NSW OPEN Regional Golf Qualifier at the Grafton Golf course on Sunday, 25th September, 2016. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner

North Coast high school student clinches Open golfing opportunity.

A long ride to Copmanhurst campdraft

HERDING: Ben Thompson competing at the Copmanhurst Campdraft.

Copmanhurst was full of people, horses and cattle for the campdraft.

Local Partners

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.