Rivalries are what make sport so fascinating and they certainly draw intense debate amongst fans. The Olympic Games provide the ultimate platform for many of these sporting rivalries to play out with the winner being crowned in front of the world and taking all the plaudits. Here we have collected some of the most exciting battles of recent and times gone by, played out through the lens of the Olympic Games.
1. Bolt vs. Gay
Without doubt, the centerpiece of any Olympics has always been the 100m sprint final. Fast, powerful and exciting, it has all the elements of a showcase event, and it never seems to disappoint.
The Jamaican Usain Bolt has dominated and blown away the competition in the last few years. His new world record shattered the old, and left spectators speechless with his lightning fast speed. He is making noise about breaking his own record and becoming a new living legend, and it’s hard to see anyone stopping him.
Until you factor in Tyson Gay, the only man to beat Bolt in a final since Bolt started dominating with his new records. Will Gay take the gold or will Bolt resume his domination, making history with a new world record? All eyes will be on this race, unmissable!
2. Felix vs. Campbell-Brown
Another track and field event producing a well known rivalry is the 200m women’s race. Allyson Felix from the USA has two Olympic silver medals and three World Championships to her name. Her competitor, Campbell-Brown from Jamaica has nearly mirror opposite results, with two gold medals and two runner ups at the World Championships. We are fortunate to again see this thrilling rivalry again at the London Olympics and it’s going to be a tough race to call. Both runners have the ability and they are closely matched going into this world stage.
4. Phelps vs. Lochte
Michael Phelps needs no introduction. Making the history books by winning eight gold medals at one Olympic Games, he has the title of greatest Olympian and swimmer of all time.
He has stated that London will be last Olympic Games and he will retire after. He has also publicly admitted his struggle for motivation to compete at the top level so it will make it an interesting Olympics for the record maker.
One man hot on his tail, is Ryan Lochte, also from the USA. Lochte is the 200m specialist who broke Phelps record twice in the last few years. The spotlight will be on these two when the worlds eyes turns to the Olympic swimming finals. An interesting battle awaits us.
5. Meares vs. Pendleton
Track cycling is not an event that usually springs to mind when thinking about sporting rivalries. But you would be surprised, this sport has thrown up a rivalry known for its intensity both on the track, and off. Anna Meares from down under and Victoria Pendleton of this years host nation, are the fastest track cyclists. Their rivalry began around five years after, according to Pendleton, Meares bumped her at a race on purpose. Pendleton didn’t take too kindly to it and never forgave the Aussie racer, sparking off a fierce battle over the years which is set to play out again this summer. It promises to be an intense, emotional and absolutely exciting spectacle not to be missed.