Rio 2016: Five potential Team GB breakthrough superstars

As happens every four years, a number of stars are unearthed thanks to their Olympic performances, and there a number of potential breakout superstars in the Team GB squad this time around

Rio 2016: Five potential Team GB breakthrough superstars
Rio 2016: Five potential Team GB breakthrough stars (image via:

Every four years, the Olympic Games shines a light on sport's which otherwise struggle to grab the headlines.

The likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Ben Ainslie are just three of the sportsmen who's stardom has been built on claiming the hearts of the British people to accomany their plethora of gold medals. 

This time around, the 'Greatest Show on Earth' heads for Rio, and with high expectations surrounding Team GB there a number of potential breakthrough stars in the squad of 366 who are set to compete over the next couple of weeks and follow in the footsteps of Greg Rutherford, Alistair Brownlee and Laura Trott from four years ago. 

Adam Peaty - Swimming

Owner of the 100 metre backstroke world record, and current European, Commonwealth and World Champion in the same discipline, Adam Peaty looks as close to a dead cert for gold as you will find in the pool. 

Team GB's Adam Peaty (image via: telegraph)

The 21-year-old from Uttoxeter in England is already a swimming superstar, and if he can carry his strongest form through to Rio he has the potential to become a household name in British sport. 

His greatest challenge will come in the form of South African powerhouse Cameron van der Burgh who is defending the 100metre title he picked up in London four years, and was a hero of Peaty's not too long ago. 

Peaty, though knows what it takes to beat van der Burgh, and is heading to his first Olympics as a man on a mission and with gold very much in his sights. 

Dan Bibby - Rugby Sevens

If Team GB's men are to make a mark in the highly-anticipated Rugby Sevens event at Rio, then one man who will be crucial to their success is Dan Bibby.

The shaggy-haired playmaker has been with the England Sevens setup for four years, and has grown to be one of the best players on the circuit. 

A tough season for the England Sevens outfit has seen them criticised in some quarters due to the increased media awareness surrounding the team with Rio on the horizon. Finishing eighth on the overall series standings was not what the coaches would have been hoping for, yet for six of the 10 leg's, Bibby was unavailable.

Dan Bibby in action for the England Sevens (image via:

After making a solid start having finished second in the season opener in Dubai, England struggled in Cape Town, before claiming a fourth-placed finish in Wellington with Bibby named in the Dream Team that weekend. Then, in Sydney, Bibby dislocated his shoulder while scoring a try and was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign which coincided with England's struggles.

The 25-year-old faced a race against time to be fit for Rio, yet it was confirmed a fortnight ago that he would be on the plane.

Playing catch-up due to the fact that players from Scotland, Wales and England are forging a Team GB for the first time, Bibby and his teammates will be hard-pushed to grab a medal but if they do then Bibby could just be the star to catapult himself into the spotlight. 

Claudia Fragapane - Gymnastics

The pocket dynamo from Bristol announced herself on the scene two Summer's ago in Glasgow when she collected four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Fragapane was successful on the Vault, and also in the Team and All-Around competitions, before taking everyone's breath away with a stunning Floor routine which saw her destroy the rest of the field. 

Fragapane during the Commonwealth Games in 2014 (image via:

Now 18, Fragapane heads to Rio with more success in her sights having claimed a European silver and World Championship bronze over the past couple of years. 

Standing at 4 ft 6 in, she will be one of the smallest competitors in Brazil this August, but having finished 8th and 7th on the Floor during the past two World Championships she knows she can compete with the best when they take to the Rio Olympic Arena

Jack Laugher - Diving

Failing to garner the attention of teammate Tom Daley in the past, Jack Laugher's performances over the next fortnight could see him jettisoned from behind a Daley-sized shadow to become the leading light of British Diving

Diving from the 3metre springboard, Laugher has a pair of opportunities to claim medals, both in the individual competition and also alongside Chris Mears in the synchronised event. 

Laugher celebrating his Commonwealth gold (image via:

Having won bronze in both events during the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Laugher is well-placed to medal again in Rio. 

Born in Harrogate, the 21-year-old is hoping to prove the error-strewn series he produced in London four years ago will stand him in good stead this time around. 

Joe Joyce - Boxing

Aiming to capture the super heavyweight crown which his predecessor Anthony Joshua achieved four years ago, Joe Joyce leads a strong British boxing team to Rio. 

Already 30 years of age, Joyce is a late bloomer in the amateur game, yet he heads to Brazil as one of the favourites having won gold in both the European and Commonwealth Games in recent times. 

Joe Joyce celebrates a win at the European Championships (image via:

Joyce has already announced that he will be turning pro at the denoument of these Games and the Londoner will hoping to do so with an Olympic medal around his neck, and is more than capable of doing just that.