EVERY MORNING, WE bring you all of the info you need to make sure you don’t miss a second of Olympic gold.
After seven years of waiting and a superbly different opening ceremony, it’s finally here — the 30th Olympiad of the modern era begins properly with the first full day of sporting action.
Cycling and swimming are the showpiece events of a jam-packed day one. Fresh from his three stage wins at the Tour de France, can Mark Cavendish win the first home medal for Team GB in the men’s road race? And who will strike the first blow when American swimming giants Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte go head-to-head in the 400m Individual Medley?
It’s set to be a busy day for Team Ireland with 12 athletes in action across seven different sports. Here’s what’s coming up today.
Top of the bill
Can Cav do it? The Tour de France only finished six days ago but it seems like we’ve been waiting for today’s men’s road race forever such are the levels of hype surrounding Mark Cavendish’s chances. The Manx Missile has the strongest possible team at his disposal, including Tour winner and runner-up Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, but if Team GB can’t control the race there will be plenty of others ready to take advantage.
The opening act The battle between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the pool is set to be one of the defining stories of London 2012. Since Beijing six-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte has worked to step out of the shadow of Phelps, who has a whopping 16 medals of his own. They begin their clash in the men’s 400m individual medley today.
“The Missile” You’ve heard of Missy Franklin, right? The 17-year-old US swimmer is tipped to be one of the superstars of the next fortnight. She begins her seven-medal challenge today as part of the USA’s 4x100m individual medley team.
Who’s flying the Irish flag?
Swimming: Dubliner Barry Murphy is the only Irish competitor in the pool today. He goes in the heats of the men’s 100m breaststroke, which get underway at 11.50am. If all goes according to plan, Murphy will be back in the pool at 7.30pm for the semi-finals.
Cycling: With Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish all in saddle, Britain’s “dream team” may have set tongues wagging but we’ve three competitors of our own in today’s men’s road race which begins at 10am. Cousins Nicolas Roche and Daniel Martin are joined by David McCann in a bid to cause an upset.
Eventing: Three of Ireland’s eventing team — Aoife Clarke, Joseph Murphy and Michael Ryan — are in dressage action from 10am.
Gymnastics: London-born Kieran Behan makes his Olympic debut this morning in the qualification round of the men’s artistic gymnastics. He competes on the floor and in the vault when action at the North Greenwich Arena gets underway at 11am.
Judo: Belfast’s Lisa Kearney is going for gold in the women’s 48kg division. Ranked 19th in the world, Kearney has been drawn against Shugen Wu of China in her last 16 bout at 11am. If she wins, she looks likely to face either world number three Sarah Menezes of Brazil or world number 12 Laetitia Payet of France in the next round later today.
Rowing: Sanita Puspure kicks off her Olympics when she goes in the women’s single sculls heats at 1.30pm.
Boxing: Two of Ireland’s top medal hopes, John Joe Nevin and Darren O’Neill, are in the ring this afternoon. Ranked fourth in the world, Nevin starts in the last 32 with a bout against Dennis Ceylan of Denmark at 2.15pm. In the middleweight division, Darren O’Neill makes his Olympic debut against Muideen Akanji of Nigeria. The Paulstown fighter is in the ring at 3.15pm.
Do not miss…
Men’s road race — Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Andrei Greipel, Nicolas Roche — 10am start
Men’s 400m individual medley — Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte — 10am heats; 7.30pm final
Women’s 400m individual medley — Stephanie Rice, Elizabeth Beisel, Hannah Miley — 11.17am heats; 8.09pm final
Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay — Netherlands, USA (Missy Franklin), Australia — 12.11pm heats; 8.40pm final
Women’s singles first round — Serena Williams v Jelena Jankovic — 2pm
Women’s Group A — USA v Croatia — 4.45pm
What are you looking forward to on day one? What have we missed? Let us know in the comments >