Giles Long


Q & A

Q. Who do you think will be the star of the 2012 Paralympics?
A. Its tempting to say Oscar Pistorius because he will undoubtedly be a megastar, but he's in a strange twilight zone – not quick enough for a medal at the Olympics yet a total field decimator in everything bar the 100m at the Paralympics, where Jerome Singleton (USA) will give him a run for his money.   

Q. Which event – or which athlete – are you most looking forward to watching and why?
A. The women's 34 point 4x100 medley relay is the final race on the 7 September and, if the World and European Championships are anything to go by, it will be one of the best of the entire Paralympic Games. It's very tight between GB, USA and Russia, with China and Spain also knocking on the door.  Because of the points system the lead may well change several times. GB have great depth in this event and have the swimmers to win it. In terms of an individual, I love watching Nathan Stephens throw the javelin.  It's a total cliché but he genuinely does make it look easy; poetry in motion.   

Q. Which of the ParalympicsGB team do you think will surprise us?
A. I'm really excited about our wheelchair basketball team, both men and women.  They've been playing really well and had some great results at the BT Paralympic World Cup in 2011. We could well see a breakthrough too in wheelchair fencing and if the GB cycling team do anything other than wipe the floor with everyone, it'll be a total surprise.   

Q. What aspect of covering the Paralympics are you most excited about?
A. Seeing British athletes winning medals.  In fact seeing anyone be their best.  I've always loved watching people win things, from sport to game shows.  That moment of realisation on someone's face is sheer magic.

Q. What is your biggest fear about the Games?
A. That GB will have an incredible result and finish third in the overall medals table only for it to be seen as a failure because they finished second in Beijing.   

Q. Tell us something about another member of the C4Paralympics team.
A.  Rachael Latham is a very cheeky monkey.   

Q. The GB team won 42 golds last time, how many will they get at London 2012?
A. This is impossible to call, especially with more and more countries tuning into the Paralympics.  For each Russian gold medal in the pool there is US$100,000 for swimmer and coach, which means that there is potential for one Russian coach to leave London 2012 with a cool US$1.5m. The Ukraine have gone a similar route though have decided to be a little more back-seat about it only offering a mere US$75,000.  Throw into the mix, Canada, China, USA, Brazil, Australia and South Africa and you realise what a fight GB have on their hands to maintain second place in the overall medals table.