In the Press: 2012 Olympics Special!
We were pleased to see three of our Musto ambassadors (equestrian Olympic hopeful William Fox-Pitt, shooting Olympic hopeful Charlotte Kerwood and windsurfing Olympic hopeful Bryony Shaw from Skandia Team GBR) featured in Sport magazine‘s 2012 Olympics Special issue last week:
‘Equestrian Olympics events: Saturday 28 July – Thursday 9 August | Greenwich Park | Tickets £20-£275
All three equestrian disciplines will be united in one venue in 2012. That venue’s not any old horse yard either, but Greenwich Park. The world’s finest eventers, dressage riders and jumpers will gather in the shadows of the Queen’s House to compete for six gold medals in individual and team events.
Britain’s biggest strength lies in the four-day eventing competition, which features dressage over days one and two, cross country on day three and jumping on day four. It yields GB’s only two equestrian medals of the Beijing Games in 2008 – and, with Brits William Fox-Pitt and Mark King occupying the top two places in the world rankings at the start of 2011 - it’s sure to be a source of medals once again.
The dressage tests both horse and rider in accuracy of movement, calmness and suppleness. Over the first two rounds, they’re marked on how well they perform a series of required movements – but it’s the final freestyle round, set to music, which is where the most agile and creative beasts come into their own.
There will be around 15 fences to be negotiated into the jumping event, with riders being penalised for hitting them and for failing to complete the course in a set time. The winner is the rider with the fewest faults over five rounds in the individual event, and three in the team.
TEAM GB MEDAL HOPE: Laura Bechtolsheimer | Age in 2012: 27
The 26-year-old was a member of the British dressage team that finished sixth in Beijing, but has since won world and European team silver, world individual silver and European individual bronze. Now number three in the world rankings, Bechtolsheimer could be a household name after 2012. Think we’ll just call her Laura though.
TEAM GB MEDAL HOPE: William Fox-Pitt | Age in 2012: 43
Having picked up medals at the previous two Olympics, and with more than 25 years’ experience in eventing, Fox-Pitt has admitted he’s considering retirement after 2012. So the Hampstead-born riding legend will be desperate to upgrade the Olympic bronze and silver already in his collection to gold in London.
28-29 July Individual and team dressage
30 July Individual and team cross country
31 July Individual and team jumping, medal ceremonies
2-3 August Team dressage
7 August Team dressage finals
9 August Individual dressage, medal ceremonies
4-5 August Individual and team qualifying, team jumping round 1
6 August Team jumping round 2, medal ceremonies
8 August Individual jumping final rounds, medal ceremonies
2011 KEY EVENTS
17-21 August European Dressage Championships, Holland
25-28 August European Eventing Championships, Germany
13-18 September Show Jumping Europeans, Spain’
‘Shooting Olympics events: Saturday 28 July – Monday 6 August | The Royal Artillery Barracks | Tickets £20-£40
Currently, a mere eight shooters are receiving Olympic funding – down from 30 – after Britain failed to bring home a single medal from the Beijing Games. But rather than wallowing in self-pity, British shooters have bounced back, with England and Scotland picking up a mammoth 24 medals at the Commonwealth Games last October.
There will be 15 medals on offer in London, split between rifle, pistol and shotgun events. As host nation, Britain receives an automatic place in nine of those events: five in the men’s (50m rifle 3 positions, 25m rapid fire pistol, 10m air pistol, trap and skeet) and four in the women’s (25m pistol, 10m air rifle, trap and skeet).
That leaves six events for which Team GB have to qualify by right – but, with 75 British shooters having already achieved the Minimum Qualification Score, which defines whether a competitor is even allowed to qualify for the Olympics, hopes of qualifying a full squad remain high.
The men’s double trap shotgun event has the highest hopes of a British medal, with three shooters – including Sydney 2000 Olympic gold-medallist Richard Faulds – battling for two places, while Charlotte Kerwood (below) is our leading hope in the women’s trap. China, who won five gold medals in Beijing, will be the biggest threat to those medal hopes – but this time, we’re the ones with crucial home advantage.
TEAM GB MEDAL HOPE: Charlotte Kerwood | Age in 2012: 25
Kerwood won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, aged 15, and currently tops the British rankings in the trap. She’s one of eight shooters to receive Olympic funding, and in 2012 will hope to improve on her 16th place in Beijing. She will do, too.
TEAM GB MEDAL HOPE: James Huckle | Age in 2012: 21
The Harlow shooter won four medals in the rifle events at last year’s Commonwealths. That ended a fruitful debut year on the senior international circuit, giving him belief ahead of a crucial 2011.
28 July Men’s 10m air pistol final and women’s 10m air rifle final
29 July Women’s 10m air pistol and skeet finals
30 July Men’s 10m air rifle final and skeet qualification
31 July Men’s skeet final
1 August Women’s 25m pistol final
2 August Men’s 25m rapid fire pistol and double trap final
3 August Men’s 25m rapid fire pistol and 50m rifle prone finals
4 August Women’s 50m rifle 3 positions and trap finals
5 August Men’s 50m pistol and trap qualification
6 August Men’s 50m rifle 3 positions and trap finals
2011 KEY EVENTS
1-7 March European Championships (10m), Italy
31 July – 14 August Euro Championships, Serbia
27 August – 5 September World Shotgun Championships, Serbia’
‘Sailing Olympics events: Sunday 29 July – Saturday 11 August | Weymouth and Portland, Dorset | Tickets £20-£55
Britain’s sailors brought home four golds, one silver and a bronze from the 2008 Olympics, to top the sailing medal table. So, come 2012, much will be expected from the likes of Ben Ainslie, Paul Goodison, Sarah Ayton and Bryony Shaw.
In London, the goal is a cautious five medals from 10 events. There are six events for men: windsurfer (RS:X), one-person dinghy (Laser), heavyweight one-person dinghy (Finn), two-person dinghy (470), skiff (49er) and keelboat (Star); and four for women: windsurfer (RS:X), one-person dinghy (Laser Radial), two-person dinghy (470) and match racing (Elliot 6m).
The hardest task for Britain’s sailors is reaching the start line, with each country allowed to enter just one boat per event, meaning several world-class sailors will miss out. In the Finn, for example, three-time gold-medallist is back from dabbling in match racing to fight for his place against reigning world champion Ed Wright and world number five Giles Scott.
The sailing venue in Weymouth was the first 2012 site to be completed (in 2008) and is the training base for most of the British team. So the squad should be ship-shape for the Olympic test event this summer – and, indeed, the main event one year later.
TEAM GB MEDAL HOPE: Ben Ainslie, Finn Class | Age in 2012: 35
Ainslie has medals at each of the last four Olympics, winning silver in Atlanta before gold in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. A couple of post-Beijing years in match racing yielded a world title, but now he’s back in the Finn and eyeing a fourth gold. Don’t bet against him.
TEAM GB MEDAL HOPE: Bryony Shaw, RS:X | Age in 2012: 29
Famous for dropping an ‘s-bomb’ on live TV after winning bronze in Beijing, Shaw is now ranked second in the world. The Londoner won gold in a World Cup in France last year, and bronze at the 2010 Sail for Gold Regatta at the Olympic venue.
30 July Men’s 49er, Finn, Laser, RS:X and Star heats, women’s Elliot 6m, Laser Radial and RS:X heats
5 August Men’s Finn and Star medal race
6 August Men’s Laser medal race and women’s Laser Radial medal race
7 August Men’s and women’s RS:X medal race
8 August Men’s 49er medal race
10 August Women’s 470 medal race
11 August Women’s Elliot 6m medal race
2011 KEY EVENTS
5-11 June Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth
31 July – 13 August Olympic test event, Weymouth
3-18 December ISAF Sailing World Championships, Perth, Australia
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