Volleyball, swimming, athletics, sailing, judo, and soccer are amongst the modalities with great chances for gold in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
By Danielle Marinho
Brazil has a delegation of 165 athletes for the London Olympics that start on July 27th and end on August 12th, 2012. The athletes that are already classified are split over more than 20 modalities: athletics, basketball, volleyball, judo, boxing, canoeing, cycling, fencing, soccer, artistic gymnastics, handball, equestrian, swimming, swimming marathon, modern pentathlon, trampoline, taekwondo, table tennis, shooting, triathlon and sailing. The Para-Olympic Games will be held right after between August 29th and September 9th with 20 sports modalities already scheduled.
The London Games will have a total of 26 sports sub-divided into 39 different modalities. Brazil, placed 23rd in the general medal table in the previous Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, had a total of 15 medals including three gold, two silver and eight bronze medals. In the previous games, the women’s volleyball team won the Olympic Gold for the first time and made us all proud. Also, Maurren Maggi won the first gold in Women’s long jump and in the swimming pool Cesar Cielo won the gold in the 50m and bronze in the 100m.
It is worth remembering the medals won by Brazilians in Beijing:
- Men’s Volleyball (Silver);
- Beach volleyball with Fabio Luiz and Marcio (Silver) and Ricardo and Emanuel (Bronze);
- Women’s Soccer (Silver) and Men’s (Bronze);
- Sailing with Bruno Prada and Robert Scheidt in the Star Class (Silver), and in Class 470, Fernanda Oliveira and Isabel Swan (Bronze);
- Judo with Ketleyn Quadros, who was the first Brazilian to have won the first individual medal in history (Bronze), and Leandro Guilheiro and Tiago Camilo (Bronze) in the men’s competition;
- Taekwondo with Natália Falavigna, above 67 kg (Bronze).
This year, the exciting news is the men’s basketball team, which had not classified for the last four Olympic Games, since Atlanta, going 16 years without participating in the competition, which now has a guaranteed spot after finishing 2nd in the Pre-Olympic games in Argentina. The women’s basketball team is classified for the London games after winning the Pre-Olympic in Colombia.
The women’s volleyball team coach José Roberto Guimarães, is focused on winning the second championship in the 2012 Games to continue the golden performance of the team in the previous competition, despite some important absences and some uncertainty in connection to some players for this year. The men’s team which placed 3rd in the World Cup with coach Bernardinho, came to Canada for the world league in May in Toronto, before travelling to London.
Beach volleyball has two new two teams with two players who are experienced athletes: Alisson who plays with Olympic champion Emanuel had a great year in 2011 and Juliana and Larissa, placed top in the national and world ranking are strong candidates to represent Brazil on the sand. Maria Elisa and Talita, Ricardo and Pedro Cunha, who have been a team since the second half of last year, are the favorite ones and Pedro Solberg and Marcio also have good chances to go to London after battling for the second spot.
Apart from Cesar Cielo in swimming, Maurren Maggi (long jump) and Fernanda Murer (pole vault), there are also athletes who will be pursuing gold in the London games – 4 x 100 meter relay (masculine and feminine), and the men’s and women’s soccer teams. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada have confirmed their presence in the sailing competitions and Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan, Martine Grael and Isabel Swan will fight for the only female Olympic spot.
Another great hope lies with Judo. For the first time, women have better chances; Mayra Aguiar, Rafaela Silva and Sarah Menezes are the favorite ones. Among the men, Tiago Camilo and Leandro Guilheiro will fight for gold. With Taekwondo we bet on Natália Falavigna and Diogo Silva. Boxing has a chance to win again after 44 years with Everton Lopes, world champion in his category. However, the representatives are still to be defined in the qualifying.
The London Olympics is an extremely important event for Brazil, as it will be the next country to host the Olympics in 2016. The biggest sports event in the world will take place in South America for the first time in history and the city of Rio de Janeiro will be proud to hold the Olympic and Para-Olympic Games four years from now.
On British soil, Brazil and its representatives will have the opportunity to prepare by getting to know the structure, rights and wrongs during the games, to see if the investment made to develop sports is paying off, and to obtain future excellent results, especially at home.
Information and calendar for the games: london2012.com