Expert Blog

  • Eurosport expert Pieter van den Hoogenband says Ryan Lochte is a firm favourite for gold in the 200m backstroke.

    We also hear from Ryan Lochte's father, Steve, who says his son could target Michael Phelps's huge record haul.

  • Backley: Ohuruogu has amazing chance to win

    Christine Ohuruogu of Britain (Reuters)

    Current Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu has been listed by many as an outsider this time around in London, not even as a solid medal hope, but I think that she has an amazing opportunity.

    I can't believe people are discounting her. What you have to remember is that the top athletes, the proven winners, have the ability to get themselves ready for the major championships. She is in form — by winning at Crystal Palace she ran her fastest ever time going into a major championships — and there she ran down the favourite.

    Has she got a chance? I think she's going to win! I don't think the

    Read More »from Backley: Ohuruogu has amazing chance to win
  • Van den Hoogenband hails Phelps, defends Ye

    Eurosport expert Pieter van den Hoogenband says that Michael Phelps is the greatest ever Olympian after he became the most decorated athlete in Games history on Tuesday.

    Phelps claimed silver in the 200m butterfly and gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay to bring his career Olympic medal tally to 19.

    And Van den Hoogenband also defended young Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen against accusations of doping after her 200m IM gold on Tuesday.

    The accusations first surfaced after she smashed the 400 medley world record to claim gold on Saturday, marking a substantial improvement in performance for the

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  • James: GB on the crest of a wave

    Britain's men's eight as they pass by Windsor Castle and the Olympic rings during the London 2012 Olympic Games, at Eton Dorney Rowing Centre (AFP)

    Britain won six medals in Beijing, topping the table in the rowing events, but we'll be looking to do even better in front of a home crowd.

    Eton Dorney is potentially very quick and, with a decent tail wind, records could be set. The British team is in a good place: its depth is better than ever, right across the board.

    We're confident — and the opportunity is there to go and win medals. We just have to make it happen, although that won't be easy.

    The big finals on Wednesday are the men's eight and the women's pair.

    Britain's women rowers have a good chance in both the double sculls and the

    Read More »from James: GB on the crest of a wave
  • Backley: Big first day all important for Ennis

    Ennis speaks to media after a kitting out session in Loughborough (Reuters)

    Jessica Ennis clearly has the best lifetime best of the women's heptathlon field in London. Part of me thinks that she just has to keep her cool, score 6,900 points then she can win.

    But then part of me also thinks that we haven't seen the best of Tatyana Chernova yet, who was buoyed by her World Championship win over Jess last year and is clearly a very capable athlete physically.

    There's a slight vulnerability around Jess that has been exposed recently with the long jump. Her second day is a lot weaker than her first and she needs to be 200-300 points ahead after the first day.

    Her stronger

    Read More »from Backley: Big first day all important for Ennis
  • Greene: Torn over Pistorius participation

    Pistorius limbers up (Reuters)

    I'm torn over where I stand on the issue of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, who will compete in London in the men's 400m and for his nation's 4x400m relay team.

    Yes, he's a phenomenal athlete, you can't take that from him. For him to run how he's running with the amputations, I give it up to him.

    But at the same time, his body doesn't go through the same things that a regular person's body would go through. He's not able to feel the shock and the pain that comes up from your feet all the way up - it lessens the blow for him.

    The fatigue factor is not as great as it would be if he had natural

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  • Akabusi: Louis Smith comes of age

    Stand up Louis Smith. I hope when he woke up this morning and looked in the mirror, he felt a sense of great pride and personal satisfaction at what he achieved yesterday evening.

    What he has done for the sport of gymnastics is nothing short of incredible. When he climbed onto the pommel horse in Beijing four years ago, he became the first British man to win a medal in gymnastics in a hundred years. Even more astounding, he was the first Briton to win a medal in gymnastics since the women's team won bronze 80 years ago in 1928.

    Fast forward four years and look at that performance from

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  • Gregory: Fans make Eton Dorney feel like a stadium

    My first Olympic race on Monday went great: I felt calm and relaxed beforehand and really at home on the course.

    We managed to put into practice everything we have been doing and it was a positive feeling. The race was fully under our control. We moved out ahead early on and it is difficult from there to keep pushing on, but we maintained the speed we had. As such it is difficult to know whether we held anything back in terms of performance.

    Knowing the course helps a lot: I've raced on Eton Dorney every year of my rowing life. The difference this year is that all the volunteers and crowd are

    Read More »from Gregory: Fans make Eton Dorney feel like a stadium
  • Backley: Nothing plastic about Brit Aldama

    British triple jump hope Yamile Aldama was world indoor champion with 14.82 and is now 40 years old — which is incredible. Her story is an interesting one.

    She came from Cuba many years ago. She came here to train under the guidance of Andy Norman, who sadly died a few years ago, because she couldn't train in Cuba for whatever reason. Eventually she married a British guy, she's been in the UK a good 15 years, and is a British passport holder by rights.

    There's a little bit of negativity about plastic Brits because we have a few athletes from overseas. But the only reason she competed for

    Read More »from Backley: Nothing plastic about Brit Aldama
  • Backley: Men’s field events not in great shape

    Dwight Phillips of the US in Berlin earlier this year (Reuters)

    The problem with the field events is that it is very difficult to tell the story, despite the colour; it's very hard to grab the public's imagination in 10 seconds as they would in a sprint.

    The men's throws aren't thriving as they have done. The javelin is certainly not thriving — I take a look at some of the winning distances and seriously consider lacing my boots up again!

    The discus has a 40-year-old up there near the top, although admittedly one who can throw 70 metres, and has a few competitive athletes like Virgilijus Alekna and Gerd Kanter. Robert Harting winning the European

    Read More »from Backley: Men’s field events not in great shape