Olympics: Who are our best medal hopes?

By Daniel Richardson

Reigning Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams is the closest thing you can get to a certainty for a medal given her form and history in the event. Photo / Getty Images.
Reigning Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams is the closest thing you can get to a certainty for a medal given her form and history in the event. Photo / Getty Images.

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers has predicted that the New Zealand Olympic team will win seven medals at this year's London games. Daniel Richardson of APNZ takes a look at how accurate that figure is, and who New Zealand's best medal hopes are.

Reigning Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams is the closest thing you can get to a certainty for a medal given her form and history in the event.

The 27-year-old Commonwealth and world champion will face stern competition from Belarussian Nadzeya Astapchuk but will likely be in contention for gold in London.

Javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar is ranked seventh-equal in the world but has thrown a personal best this year and appears to be building steadily towards the Games.

Beijing silver medallist Nick Willis would need to improve on his current form to finish on the podium in the 1500m event.

Rowing has a long history of providing medals from these quarters and this year will likely be no different.

Men's pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray will start as favourites given their dominance in the event during the past three years.

Women's pair Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh could produce a strong performance and champion single sculls rower Mahe Drysdale would want to better his bronze medal effort of 2008.

Storm Uru and Peter Taylor could be in the mix in the lightweight double sculls and Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan will be looking to make an impact in the double sculls.

Windsurfer JP Tobin will be expected to produce. He's the only Kiwi representative in his discipline, despite fellow Kiwi Tom Ashley being Olympic champion.

Women's K1 200m kayaker Lisa Carrington is also a chance to finish with a medal.

Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have pedigree in the 49er class given their silver medal effort at the last world championships, and the female 470 crew of Jo Aleh, 26, and Olivia Powrie, 24, have finished second, third and fourth at the last three world champs.

Cycling has often provided memorable moments at the Olympics and despite the removal of the individual pursuit from the Games, New Zealand can hope for success in the sprint events and men's and women's team pursuits.

BMX competitors Sarah Walker and Marc Willers have both improved since the last Games and could produce a medal from one of the Olympics' more rapid-fire events.

The equestrian three-day teams will want to put on a good show and two-time Olympic champion Mark Todd might fancy his chances.

Triathlete Andrea Hewitt appears the Kiwi most likely to claim a medal on the flat London course, although Bevan Docherty has snagged a podium place at the past two Games and the 35-year-old would love to add a gold to his silver and bronze medals.

- APNZ

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