London Olympic Timetable - First Friday

By London_Duncan Last edited 127 months ago
London Olympic Timetable - First Friday

But hark! Is that the sound of the William Tell Overture in the distance? It is! And with it comes a marauding horde of London track and field competitors poised to take over the Olympic show as, for a lot of casual observers, the Olympics get properly underway. We at Londonist, as you know, look to wider horizons, but it was a bit difficult yesterday as both the sailors and the oarsfolk were forced to abandon any hopes of racing. The rowing at Shunyi was called off after two bands of stormy showers drenched the venue in quick succession just before competition was due to start. Yesterday's racing programme will instead be run today (an official reserve day for just such an eventuality) with all three of our crews set to race between 8:30 and 9:30am (all times BST).

Three hundred miles south of Beijing the sailors faced the opposite problem as the weather, busy elsewhere, basically failed to turn up at all. Flags remained limp, visibility was poor and once again the whole day's programme went by the board leaving organisers with a huge backlog in the plethora of multiple race classes. Windsurfer Bryony Shaw will be one of those trying again with her fifth and sixth races provisionally scheduled for the period between 6am and noon as are those for two competitors, both born in Chertsey, taking to the water for the first time in these Games. Will Howden sets sail with his partner in a multihull Tornado and Andrew Simpson joins his colleague in the keelboat Star class.

The women's hockey team held on to defeat New Zealand 2-1 having gone behind for the third time in as many games. Two qualify from their pool in which they now lie fourth, but they are level on points with their next opponents, Japan and have already played the top two in the group, Germany and Argentina, who are yet to play each other. Japan are a tougher proposition than yesterday's defeated opponents, but less daunting than the Argentinians from whom the British secured a draw. Today it's back to the men at the customary time of 2pm as they face a South African team that so far has conceded five to the second placed Dutch and then ten to the top dogs, Australia. A win would keep the team in the thick of a three-way fight for the two semi-final spots.

Back in the Bird's Nest it's game on, too, with Greenwich born Tyrone Edgar, a graduate in Leadership and Development who as a youngster featured in an advert for a well known hamburger chain, and Simeon Williamson, a sports science student himself, leading off the London challenge in the eagerly anticipated 100m with the round 1 heats beginning at 2:45am with Round 2 between 12:45pm and 1:20pm. Williamson, born in Islington and living in Enfield, is the reigning World Student 100m champion, having had to win the title twice in two days in Bangkok last year after his initial victory was annulled when it was found in the aftermath of the race that he had anticipated the starting gun one thousandth of a second too quickly. He simply came back the next morning and won again.

Marilyn Okoro is next in the women's 800m first round heats between 4:10am and 5am. Marilyn, a Londoner all her life, is also a British international at lacrosse who moved up to the middle distance event from an original specialisation in the long 400m sprint. She's another graduate, holding a degree in French and Politics.

Just before round 2 of the men's 100 we'll see round 1 of one of Lord Coe's old stamping grounds, the 1500m, featuring Andy Baddeley, Britain's current number one at the distance and winner of this season's Bislett dream mile. He'll be hoping to stay upright this time around as the bumping and boring commonplace in the event has cost him dearly in two previous major championships. Andy's degree is in aerospace engineering, though he's now taking a Masters in sports science at St Mary's College in Twickenham.

Then it's back to the ladies and two gold medals up for grabs as Philippa Roles competes in the discus between 12:55 and 3:10pm (the final starts just after 2pm) and Jo Pavey rounds off our evening between 3:45 and 4:20pm going for a medal in the 10,000m. Welsh international Roles, who lives in London, is a veteran of Athens 2004 who narrowly missed a bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Pavey, a Devonian now living in Teddington, was also at Athens and before that Sydney where she finished 5th and 12th respectively in the 5000m, which she will also be tackling this time around. She is a qualified physiotherapist who will be hoping to add to her Commonwealth 5000m medal, a silver, from 2006 by going one better than her fourth place in last year's World Championships 10000m final in Osaka.

A full timetable of all events can be found on the BBC Sport site. There is also an excellent interactive schedule on the Team GB site.

Picture via {meagen}'s Flickr stream.

Last Updated 15 August 2008