POSTED: February 15th 2011
NewsUpdate

London 2012 dates firmed up for Bolt, Ennis and Britain's Olympic fans

Jessica Ennis: heptathlon favourite already / Fotosports.com
Jessica Ennis: heptathlon favourite already / Fotosports.com

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: Usain Bolt now knows that - fitness ands form permittin - he will be defending his Olympic 100m title at the 2012 Games on Sunday, August 5, after LOCOG published the IOC-approved competition schedule.

By then Britain could already be celebrating gold in track and field since the heptathlon will be among the first athletics events with SJA Sportswoman of the Year Jessica Ennis favourite in the seven-discipline event. Ennis is also current world and European champion.

The heptathlon is on the first two days of competition on August 3 and 4, with the men's 100m semi-finals and final not taking place until Sunday evening, August 5. Ennis had also considered competing in the 100m hurdles but that now seems unlikely since the event starts on the morning of August 6.

British fans will also be looking to world triple jump champion and Londoner Phillips Idowu to claim more glory on August 9, while the last session of nine days of athletics competition features the 4x 100m and 4x400m relays for both men and women.

The very first event of the Games will not take place in the capital but 150 miles away in Cardiff. That will be a women's football match at the Millennium Stadium at 4pm on July 25, two days before the opening ceremony. An hour later, two other women's matches kick off, at Hampden Park, Glasgow, and in Coventry.

Apart from football, the first Olympic action will be in archery, in ranking events at Lord's cricket ground on the afternoon of July 27, several hours before the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium. No fewer than 21 sports roll into action the following day.

Cycling finish

The first medals will be won on Saturday, July 28, in women's weightlifting and the men's air pistol and women's air rifle shooting while Britain's Mark Cavendish would be a popular winner of cycling's men's road race which comes to a climax in The Mall in central London.

The final, climatic weekend of the Games on August 11 and 12 will see gold medals won in volleyball, basketball, water polo, modern pentathlon, hockey, handball, sailing, gymnastics, football, diving, mountain biking, canoe sprint, boxing, archery, athletics and in the men's and women's marathons.

"This is a really big moment, a huge moment," said London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, who won 1,500 metres gold in 1980 and 1984. "In my own experience as a competitor this is the point that it suddenly becomes very real.

"We are now getting to the business end of the project and we know from the number of people who have signed up for ticket information that there is a real hunger from all parts of the country to be there.

"Some 2.2million people are going to be emailed with the schedule and this is their opportunity to go away and figure out what they want to watch and when. This is the greatest show on earth and these will be the greatest tickets on earth."


Keywords · London 2012 · IOC · LOCOG · sports schedule · Coe


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