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How the British Olympians shaping up

"Daley's gold watch: With under 50 days to go, who are the British stars impressing the Olympic legend DALEY THOMPSON"


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By Daley Thompson




Under fifty days to go until the Olympics start and our track and field prospects are looking really good.


I don't want to put medals around anyone's neck at this stage. That's not the way sport works. No matter what people's reputations or past performances, it is all about getting it right on the day.  But here's who's exciting me as we approach the world's greatest event.




Jessica Ennis


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At this very second Jess and Mo Farah would seem our best hopes. I wasn't  surprised that Jess won her only pre-Olympic heptathlon in Gotzis against both her major rivals with a new British record of 6,906 points.


She has wintered really well and perhaps losing to those rivals - Nataliya Dobrynska and Tatyana Chernova - in the past year was a wake-up call. If 44 metres was her worst javelin throw, things are going well. That's not to say she can put her feet up. She has to think that it will take even more, and prepare in that frame of mind.




Mo Farah


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Mo ran really well in Eugene, Oregon, last weekend, winning in 12min 56.98sec over 5,000m - the fastest time in the world this year. But Eugene is not London. It was the aperitif and he must get ready for the main course.




Dai Greene


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I know Dai is in great shape. I went to see him in Bath and I like the way he goes about his business. Some people don't give it their all because they are frightened of finding out the answer. Dai is not like that. He wants to know if his best is good enough, and I admire that.


He just needs to get some racing under his belt after pulling out of last week's Diamond League in Rome with illness.




Adam Gemili


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Just 18 and, having run 100m in 10.08sec, he is the fastest British sprinter this year. He looks like he might develop but it's a huge step to go from being an outstanding junior into a successful adult. Usain Bolt won the 2002 world junior 200m gold medal aged 15 but it took him five years to reach the same peak in the senior ranks.


Mark Lewis-Francis is a cautionary tale. He had the world at his feet as a youngster but he didn't go on to achieve what he should have done. He did not seem to take it seriously enough.  I remember he spent time on motorbikes. You can't do that if you're a serious athlete - if only because of the other idiots on the road.


I hope Gemili will keep his head down and work hard. If you do that everything will come. If I were him, I'd just want to run everywhere.


He is still raw and needs experience. Some of that he will learn for himself but he also needs to get it from those around him. That's why he should be surrounded by people who have his best interests at heart, not those who want reflected glory.


The British sprinting scene has been standing still for a decade with the likes of Dwain Chambers, Christian Malcolm and Marlon Devonish, and it's exciting to think this young lad could be the first of a new generation.




Lawrence Okoye


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The dark horse. He is only 21 and has less than two years' real discus training but he is one hell of a talent.


If he can throw 68 metres at the Olympics - his personal best and British record is 68.24m - then he will not be far off a medal.


But throwing, more than anything else, is about experience: it's about timing, about being able to relax yourself enough to get a good throw out. It can amount to three or four metres' difference.




Philip Idowu


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As with the discus, the triple jump is about applying pressure early. If he was not too badly injured in Eugene the other day and can get a big jump out first time, he's in with a good chance of gold.




PS

It's nice to see Christine Ohuruogu and the injury-prone Nicola Sanders back to some sort of form in the 400m. The ultimate target for Ohuruogu is to find an extra half-second to challenge the imperious Sanya Richards-Ross.