Road to Rio: The Youngsters | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Road to Rio: The Youngsters

Sports writer, Alex Davis, evaluates the young talent set to compete for Team GB at Rio 2016.

Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics)

To put it simply, Dina Asher-Smith is the fastest British woman in history. She holds the national record at the 60m, 100m and 200m and she could be celebrating on the podium this summer in Rio. Only 20 years of age, Asher-Smith is in her second year at Kings College London studying History but this hasn’t affected her focus as the Olympics approach and she registered a 6 th place finish at the World Indoor Championships in Portland earlier this year. She may not be a favourite for a medal this summer but she’s certainly one of Great Britain’s ones to watch.

Adam Peaty (Swimming)

Big things are expected of Adam Peaty (right) this summer. The 21 year old came to prominence after two golds in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and hasn’t looked back since. Later that year he won four golds and broke two world records at the European Aquatics Championships.


The rise and rise of Adam Peaty continued into 2015 where he broke the world record for the 100m breaststroke at the British Championships and World Trials. His year was capped off at the FINA World Aquatic Championships where he won three gold medals and broke the championship world record for the 100m breaststroke twice. It’s easy to see why expectations are high for Peaty in Rio.

James Guy (Swimming)

Also looking to make his mark in the pool this summer is James Guy. Like Peaty, James Guy burst onto the scene at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, achieving gold in the 4x100 medley and a bronze in the 400m freestyle. Guy took this success into the World Championships in 2015 winning two golds and a silver, including swimming the fastest time in the pool in the 4x200m freestyle. At the 2016 European Championships, Guy hit success again a bronze in the 200m freestyle and a gold in the 4x100m medley. He should definitely be looking at a podium place in Rio.


Katarina Johnson Thompson (Athletics)

Looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance in the 2015 Beijing World Championships is heptathlete Katarina Johnson Thompson (left). Having been second to Jessica Ennis-Hill after the first day’s events, Johnson Thompson recorded three fouls in the long jump to end any medal hopes. If she can stay focussed, she has an excellent shot at a medal in Rio having already demonstrated her potential in claiming both the British high jump record and the British indoor long jump record.

Amber Hill (Shooting)

Great Britain have a rising star in the ‘Skeet’ event in the form of Amber Hill. The 18 year old first came to prominence when she became the youngest ever winner at the ISSF World Cup series aged just 15. Her success resulted in her being named the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year. Since then her success has continued and at the 2015 European games in Baku, Hill beat her Italian rival Diana Bacosi to win gold on her senior international debut. All eyes will be on Hill to see if she can produce on the biggest stage of them all this summer.

3rd year Economic and Social History student. I love writing about sports and have a particular interest in lower league football.


2nd August 2016 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

1st August 2016 at 11:57 pm

Images from

stux, Chan-Fan and Jim Thurston