Jamaican Usain Bolt’s rise to fame was as quick as his 100m race. He rewrote the 100m history books in only his fifth senior run over the distance. He is the Olympic and World Record holder in 100 metres, 200 metres and 4×100 metres relay. Bolt took the world by storm at the 2008 Beijing Games by winning three gold medals setting new world records. Expect a similar performance this time around come London.
LIN DAN (China)
Widely considered as the greatest badminton player of all time, Lin Dan has left nothing to conquer in world badminton. He is the only player to achieve the feat of winning all nine major titles in world badminton - Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games, and Asia Championships. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he beat Lee Chong Wei in the “dream final” to become the first men`s singles player to win the Olympic gold as a first seed.
SAINA NEHWAL (India)
After lifting the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold title recently, Saina Nehwal is peaking just in time for the 2012 London Olympics. Saina became the first Indian woman to reach the singles quarterfinals at the Olympics when she upset world number five and fourth seed Wang Chen of Hong Kong at the 2008 Beijing Games. Fifth-ranked Saina could land the first Olympic badminton gold for the country provided she continues her good form.
LEBRON JAMES (United States)
Miami Heat guard LeBron James was a part of the gold medal winning Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. USA defeated Spain 118 to 107 to win their first gold medal since the 2000 Games. James is possibly the biggest name in the world of basketball.
Twenty-year-old Neymar is considered hot property in world football now and has been a major force in the Brazilian national team since 2010 World Cup. His skills on the field have encouraged people to draw comparison with the Brazilian legend Pele.
The five-time FIFA world player of the year was part of the Brazilian women’s squad that won silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the 2007 Women`s World Cup, she won both the Golden Ball award as the best player and the Golden Boot award as the top scorer. In the 2007 Women`s World Cup, she won both the Golden Ball award as the best player and the Golden Boot award as the top scorer.
TEUN DE NOOIJER (Netherlands)
Teun de Nooijer was part of the Dutch side that won gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. At the age of 36, he is Holland`s most capped player and a three-time World Hockey Player of the Year.
MICHAEL PHELPS (United States)
A succesful athlete in terms of individual medals at 2004 Athens and 2008 Bijing Games, Michael Phelps has 16 medals in his kitty, second only to Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. She has won 18 medals over three Olympics. Phelps won a record eight gold medals in Beijing and is widely considered to emulate the same in London.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)
The current World No.1 Novak Djokovic had a fruitful year in 2011 after beating tennis’ heavyweights Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He began the new season with the Australian Open title in 2012. The bronze medallist at 2008 Beijing Games holds the first spot in our top contenders’ list for tennis at 2012 London Games.