Olympics 2012 ,Highlights
London 2012: Olympic schedule highlights Friday 3 August
Jessica Ennis and Christine Ohuruogu are in action as the athletics gets under way and Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins go for gold in the rowing
Handball 9:30amHandball has attracted a batch of curious British watchers. For the first time the sport is featuring representatives from Team GB, as both men's and women's teams landed automatic qualifying places as the host nation. Great Britain's women's team have an early start when they face Angola, in Friday's preliminary rounds, in pursuit of a place in the quarter‑finals. Making it beyond the group stages would be a major achievement but the men and women are yet to win a match.
Athletics 10:00amThe long anticipated track and field begins at the Olympic Stadium. By the close of day, athletes will have already been awarded medals in the men's shot put, for which the qualifying is the stadium's opening action, and the women's 10,000m. The women's 100m will begin with Team GB's hopefuls, Abi Oyepitan and Anyika Onuora, taking part in the heats from 10.40am. Two events stand out on the first day: in round one of the women's 400m Christine Ohuruogu will begin the defence of the Olympic title she won in 2008 (see below) and Jessica Ennis (also below) begins her quest for gold in the heptathlon after she missed Beijing through injury.
Rowing 10:10amThe sport has already provided GB with their first gold courtesy of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the women's pairs, as well as silver in the men's lightweight fours and bronze in the men's eights. On Friday there are four finals: the men's single sculls, men's quadruple sculls, men's pair and women's double sculls. One highly anticipated race will be the men's pairs. The 22-year-old George Nash and Will Satch, 23, stormed through the semi-final race on Wednesday to win and beat France and the reigning champions, Australia, who came second and third respectively. Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins have been billed as nailed-on favourites in the women's double sculls after their World Cup gold in Munich (see below).
Water polo 2:10pmFour matches are taking place. The Great Britain women's team, who have lost all their matches so far, will battle Italy, also yet to win a match. For a chance to advance to the next round GB will have to win their final group game but on Wednesday they were hammered 16-3 by Australia. Australia and Russia are currently steaming ahead after winning all of their matches. The Russians and Australia will go head-to-head on Friday afternoon. The other games feature Spain against Hungary and China against the United States.
Women's football 12pmGreat Britain's women, who are yet to lose a match, face Canada at 7.30pm in a quarter-final at the City of Coventry Stadium. The women drew a record-breaking crowd to Wembley for their win against the favourites Brazil. The Brazilians will earlier face Japan at the Millennium Stadium, with Sweden kicking off the day against France at Hampden Park.
Brits to watchKatherine Grainger & Anna Watkins
Rowing: women's double sculls, 10: 30am
Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins were long considered the best bet to become the first British women to win a rowing gold but that feat was achieved by the relatively inexperienced pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the pairs. The women's double sculls pair of Grainger and Watkins, though, broke the Olympic record by almost five seconds in the heats and they have not lost a race since forming their partnership in 2010. Both have endured Olympic disappointments in the past. The 36-year-old Grainger first won silver at Sydney in 2000 in the quadruple sculls, then was second again in Athens in the pairs, before another silver in 2008 back in the quadruple sculls. Watkins, 29, took double sculls bronze with Elise Laverick at Beijing. Now for gold.
Athletics: women's heptathlon, 10:05am
London 2012 will mark Jessica Ennis's Olympic debut. Team GB's poster girl, fourth in the world championships heptathlon in 2007, missed Beijing a year later with injury. Since then she has won a succession of titles and medals, though she was heptathlon runner-up to Tatyana Chernova at last year's world championships and took world indoor pentathlon silver in March behind Nataliya Dobrynska. She has responded to the challenge of her rivals, though, with a personal best and British and Commonwealth heptathlon record in May, achieving 6,906 points at Götzis in Austria. Ennis has said: "I do think about that time when I missed out and how I felt, and it just makes me appreciate this moment even more and the position that I'm in."
Athletics: women's 400m, 11:15am
The Stratford-born Ohuruogu is hoping to bring home the gold. The 28‑year‑old 400m defending champion competes in the first round on Friday, with the semi-finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday at 9.10pm. The USA's Sanya Richards‑Ross will be looking for revenge for events in the Beijing final when the Jamaica-born American was taken by surprise when Ohuruogu powered past her. Richards-Ross has unfinished business with the Londoner and has warned: "Christine, I'm sorry – you cannot dart under the radar any more." A confident Ohuruogu has her game plan, though. The secret, she says, is not to panic about your race position. "You can't afford to start getting yourself flustered about stuff because it's negative – a waste of energy."