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Sunday, 2 July, 2000, 10:53 GMT
Going for gold
Colin Jackson - will Sydney finally bring him Olympic gold?
Colin Jackson - will Sydney finally bring him Olympic gold?
It will not be easy. It is never easy to win Olympic gold, and Britain's athletes failed completely in Atlanta four years ago.

But come September and Sydney, several British athletes will wake up to the realisation that they could be heroes.

Colin Jackson 110m hurdles

At 33, Jackson needs an Olympic gold to complete the full set.

Many thought his career was coming to an end when he failed to pick up a medal of any colour at the Atlanta Games four years ago.

But he proved that to be a load of nonsense by winning European gold in 1998 and regaining his world championship crown last year.

Still being coached by his old mentor Malcolm Arnold down in Bath, Jackson is in with an excellent chance.

Dwain Chambers 100m

It's a possibility - but it is a big, big ask.
Denise Lewis - is this her year?
Denise Lewis - is this her year?

Dwain did superbly to take bronze at the World Championships, but the men who beat him that day - Maurice Greene and Bruny Surin - are still around and still running faster.

Add to that list Ato Bolden and emerging American Brian Lewis and you have a mighty strong field.

A medal of any colour would be a great result for Chambers.

Katharine Merry 400m

Almost from nowhere, Merry has arrived as a world-class runner.

Aussie Cathy Freeman remains favourite for gold, but is under immense pressure from her home crowd.

And at the rate Merry is improving, there's no telling what times she might be running come September.

Jonathan Edwards Triple jump

On paper, Edwards is right up there. Still the world record holder, on his day he is capable of out-jumping anyone in the world.

But, in the past, he sometimes has not delivered when it really mattered.

He came only third in the last World Championships and took silver in Atlanta when red-hot favourite.

Came a poor fourth in the Rome Golden League meet, but if he can get his technique spot-on, he will threaten.

Denise Lewis Heptathlon

After bronze in 1996, silver in the last two Worlds and gold at the 1998 Europeans, Lewis is primed to take the big one.

Injuries are the key. If she can get an entire season under her belt before Sydney, her chances are good.

The technique and natural ability are there in spades.

Steve Backley Javelin

The old stalwart of the British team returns again, but at 31 and after a year of technical problems, it is to a much tougher game.

He took silver in 1996 but, after dominating in the early nineties, has struggled to hit those peaks again.

An outside bet if his aching frame stays in one piece.

Ashia Hansen Triple jump

The ability's there, as Ashia showed in taking the World Indoor crown last year.
Jonathan Edwards jumps for gold
Jonathan Edwards jumps for gold

But can she put it together when it matters? In the last World Championships she could not. In the last Olympics, she so nearly did, coming in fourth.

After a dismal start to the year on the home front, with her ex-boyfriend Chris Cotter on bail and facing three charges relating to an alleged racist attack, her training was seriously disrupted.

But she remains in with a shout.

Men's sprint relay squad 4 x 100m

Britain now has an accomplished pack of young sprinters, equalled only by the USA - and that balance may be swinging in the UK's favour.

Put Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Dwain Chambers together and you have a real threat to the American dominance of this event.

Paula Radcliffe 10,000m

Put in a memorably gutsy performance to take silver behind Gete Wami at the World Championships last summer, and remains one of the outstanding athletes of her generation.

But does she have the finishing kick that a gold medallist should have?

Reaching her peak and now happily married to former 1500m man Gary Lough, this is the summer we will find out.

Dean Macey Decathlon

Came from nowhere to claim silver in the World Championships, his first senior appearance in a GB vest.

On that occasion he set six personal bests, and should he show anything like the same form again, he is in with a solid medal chance.

If he beats that number of personal bests in Sydney, gold could be the colour.

Iwan Thomas 400m

It all comes down to injuries and a superman. Injuries being what stopped Iwan from training properly last winter, and the superman being Michael Johnson.

Iwan's now fit and has started the season well.

Trouble is, so has Johnson. Still, the American has got to be beaten one day.

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Ashia Hansen
Brirish Olympic hopeful on her Sydney preparations
See also:

28 Jun 00 |  Athletics
Merry goes for gold
28 Jun 00 |  Athletics
Chambers aims for the top
28 Jun 00 |  Athletics
Backley looks for full set
24 Aug 99 |  World Athletics
Lewis takes heptathlon silver
24 Aug 99 |  World Athletics
Chambers slipstreams Greene for bronze
24 Aug 99 |  World Athletics
Hansen flops in triple jump
25 Aug 99 |  World Athletics
Colin Jackson: Britain's golden boy
26 Aug 99 |  World Athletics
Magnificent Macey snatches silver
26 Aug 99 |  World Athletics
Jackson hurdles to gold
27 Aug 99 |  World Athletics
Radcliffe wins silver in 10,000 metres
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