220 Triathlon’s Olympic predictions

Jenkins or Spirig? Brownlee or Brownlee? We give our Olympic predictions for Hyde Park

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You've been predicting your Hyde Park one, two, threes on our facebook page so we thought we'd join in the fun and publish our Hyde Park predictions. Heartily concur or vehemently disagree? Then head to our FB page for your say…

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James Witts, Editor

Men

1 Alistair Brownlee

2 Jonny Brownlee

3 Javier Gomez

Why? Jonny, Al, Jonny, Al, Jonny… Up until the result in Austria, I was in two minds. But that sub-30min 10km after four months out with an Achilles tear once again marks the 24-year-old as the man to beat. Unless Jonny loses Al early in the run – unlikely – I can’t see a situation where Jonny beats his brother. The flat of London means it’s hard to look beyond Gomez shadowing the Brownlees down the finish chute.

Women

1 Helen Jenkins

2 Lisa Norden

3 Nicola Spirig

Why? For years, Jenkins’ run speed simply didn’t match that of the planet’s finest. But under her husband/coach Marc Jenkins, they’ve designed an injury-prevention plan that has moulded the 28-year-old into the world’s finest all-round athlete. A calf tear kept her on the sidelines earlier this season but second in Kitzbühel shows Norden is back on track. As for Spirig? It’s hard to overlook someone who’s won two 2012 World Series races, is the current European champion and claimed Hyde Park silver in 2010.

Liz Barrett, Deputy Editor

Men

1 Alistair Brownlee

2 Jonny Brownlee

3 Javier Gomez

Why? If they make it safely through the bike without incident, I see it being Ali for gold and Jonny for silver. This is purely based on their performances in Kitzbühel and witnessing Ali's destructive return to form. Saying that, Jonny was more fatigued than Ali having raced more this season. And they've both been training at altitude for the past few weeks, so that performance gap has most likely been bridged.

Gomez deserves a medal, but with the Brownlees in the mix bronze is the only colour left for taking. He finished an excruciating fourth in Beijing, so I'd really like to see him take to the podium in London. 

Women

1 Nicola Spirig

2 Helen Jenkins

3 Erin Densham

Why? While I think these three will make the podium, what I'm less certain of is their finishing order. Spirig is on fire this season but she’s only raced Jenkins once, in Sydney, finishing fifth to the Brit's second place. But if it comes down to a sprint, my money's on Spirig to take gold.

As the reigning world champ, Helen goes into the Games with a target on her back. But she has two strong teammates in Vicky Holland and Lucy Hall, both playing 'protector' roles. T2 is where it'll get interesting, and seeing where her main rivals are in relation to her. But her run is now up there with the very best, and as such she should run on to that podium. Densham is in the form of her life, beating Jenkins in Sydney. Again, she should podium, and hopefully it'll be below Jenkins. 

Matt Baird, Section and Online Editor

Men

1. Alistair Brownlee

2. Alexander Bryukhankov

3. Jonny Brownlee

Why? I’d love to see Simon Whitfield up there but I’m going for a repeat of Hyde Park in 2011 as, with Bryukhankov, Polyansky and Vasiliev, I can see/fear a Russian breakaway on the bike splitting the field. “Funky things happen at the Olympics,” 2004 champion Hamish Carter told me last year, so Stu Hayes and the Brownlees really have their work cut out keeping control of the field (witness the British team at the men’s road race on Saturday). The Brits will be marked men and favourites rarely have it all their own way at the Olympic triathlons.

Women

1. Paula Findlay

2. Helen Jenkins

3. Erin Densham

Why? Putting my neck out here given Findlay hasn’t raced ITU in 2012 but, if that recurring hip injury has healed, her form when fit (she won five of her first six World Series elite races) is unrivalled. Plus she’s been training with the canny Whitfield who’ll be sure to impart some of his winning knowledge. Expect to see big race player Emma Moffatt in the mix, too.

Mike Anderson, Editorial Assistant

Men

1. Alistair Brownlee

2. Jonny Brownlee

3. Alexander Bryukhankov

Why? If neither Brownlee wins, it’ll be arguably the biggest upset of the games

Women

1. Nicola Spirig

2. Helen Jenkins

3. Andrea Hewitt

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Why? Nicola Spirig has been winning all over the place lately, including 70.3s. Plus she has a great sprint finish.