Athletics News

Paris 2024 podium predictions – AW

Paris 2024 podium predictions - AW

We take an early look at who might challenge for Olympic medals in France this summer

We recently predicted the Olympic results in the magazine, but following the World Indoors and NCAA Championships are our updated thoughts, plus we look at who might be in the mix for the British team given the toughest ever qualifying standards.

The predictions are largely based on the 2023 season with some adjustment given the recent indoor season but being Olympic year, many athletes may suddenly return to the top or make big breakthroughs.

Despite much criticism last year, the British selectors are standing by their policy of saying they are only selecting athletes with top eight aspirations even though getting the tough qualifying marks hardly guarantees that (for example, 22.57 in the women’s 200m and a top two in the trials won’t get you in the top eight in Paris).

Britain’s team won’t be that small as there will be five medal winning opportunities in the relays and the nation will fill most of the events up to 1500m but there will be lots of events with no Britons (probably 17) and maybe only one or two male field eventers.

While UK Athletics has set some easier field standards and a few more realistic track marks than World Athletics, Britain will almost certainly turn down the highest number of athletes from the world rankings quota thus strengthening other nations squads. What’s more this will potentially disillusion many British athletes and stifle their ambitions and opportunities and will take away opportunities for athletes who might well have risen to the occasion and set a PB. British viewers and spectators will be short-changed with many events British-free with inferior foreign athletes taking their place and a lost opportunity to promote the event to future Britons.

It should be remembered that the likes of Olympic medallists Daley Thompson, Steve Ovett, Jonathan Edwards, Steve Cram, Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, Brendan Foster, Tessa Sanderson, Sally Gunnell and Kelly Holmes did not win medals in their first Olympic appearance but that first Games undoubtedly helped them in later years. Some of those above wouldn’t have even been selected for their first Olympics either had the current policy been in action.

The British team is selected on July 1 and performances must have been set between July 1 in 2023 and June 30. The 2023 individual world medallists (Hughes, Hudson-Smith, Pattinson, Kerr, Hodgkinson  and Johnson-Thompson) will be…

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