Once an Olympian, always an Olympian. Gail Emms is so competitive in everything she does she doesn’t even let her two boys win at tiddlywinks. And just to show that the adrenalin of competition never leaves you, The Mixed Zone columnist upgraded her silver medal in the badminton mixed doubles from the Athens Games in 2004 to a gold in our Rio 2016 Olympic Prediction Challenge.
We asked our contributors and friends of the website to predict where Team GB would win medals in three categories (Nailed-on Gold, In the Mix, and From Left Field), with three points awarded for a correct gold, two for silver and one for bronze to make a maximum total of 27.
The majority of our entrants went for the likes of Laura Trott, Nicola Adams, Charlotte Dujardin, Heather Stanning & Helen Glover for three-point bankers, and nearly everyone had to settle for two points when defending champion Jessica Ennis-Hill was beaten into second place in the heptathlon. But Gail came up with her ‘joker’ when she alone picked out Saska Clark & Hannah Mills to win sailing’s 470 class.
Clutching her imaginary gold medal, Gail said: “I’d just like to say thank you to all those who’ve supported me… 😉
“Well, I couldn’t have won without the epic performances from the incredible sportswomen that I predicted would do well. They performed even when people like myself thought they would. They went out and actually did it, and that’s a fantastic achievement. Congratulations!!”
Coincidentally, the runner-up spot went to another former badminton player, with 2012 Olympian Susan Egelstaff scoring 16 points, two behind Gail. In third place, a further point down, was sports journalist Janine Self.
So our podium looked like this:
1 (Gold) Gail Emms – 18
2 (Silver) Susan Egelstaff – 16
3 (Bronze) Janine Self – 15
And, if we had any, there would be medals for taking part awarded to:
Sue Mott, Goldie Sayers and Sarah Shepherd, who all scored 14;
Rachel Atherton and Jessica Whittingham, both 12;
and Liz Byrnes, on 10.
To see exactly who our panel of experts thought would do their country proud, and their reasons why, CLICK HERE to see their predictions.