The Olympics is nearing its halfway point and that marks the beginning of the headline events: The Athletics. By far the broadest and most known component of the Olympics and the chance to see some of the world’s biggest Olympic stars.
Day 1 of the athletics schedule sees 16 events take place, taking up the schedule from 1:30pm BST until 2:40am BST. What’s more, we’ll have the opportunity to see three more medal events.
Men’s discus – Qualifications @ 13:30
The men’s discus qualifying will give us a look at all three medallists from the London 2012 Olympic Games in Robert Harting, Ehsan Haddadi and Gerd Kanter. You should definitely keep your eyes on them but don’t be surprised to see Piotr Małachowski or Christoph Harting challenge those three.
Women’s heptathlon – 100m hurdles @ 13:35
Only one medallist from London 2012 will be competing in the women’s heptathlon, and that is Team GB’s Jessica Ennis-Hill. Despite having missed some training due to having a child, she is still a favourite for the event, but watch out for Brianne Theisen Eaton of Canada and Anouk Vetter of Holland as they’ve both had strong showings in 2016.
Women’s shot put – Qualifications @ 14:05
London 2012’s gold medallist Valerie Adams and bronze medallist Lijiao Gong will both be competing and looking to get back to the final. Gong is the hot hand at the moment having posted the longest throw this year, a throw that would’ve won gold at London 2012. Christina Schwanitz is another one to watch.
Men’s 800m – Round 1 @ 14:10
London 2012 gold medallist and world record holder David Rudisha is once again running and will be looking to make it two Olympic gold medals in a row. But the man who came second in London, Nijel Amos, is also running again and fellow Kenyan Alfred Kipketer poses quite a threat, too.
Women’s heptathlon – High jump @ 14:50
Women’s 10,000m – Final @ 15:10
The first medal event of the day will feature the gold and bronze medallist from London 2012 in Tirunesh Dibaba and Vivian Cheruiyot, but the real person to watch is Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana, who has the fastest time of the year so far. He time is in fact 13 seconds quicker that Dibaba’s winning time in London.
Women’s 100m – Preliminaries @ 15:55
The top two sprinters from each of the three heats and the two fastest 3rd or lower placed sprinters will qualify for Round 1 of this event.
Men’s 20km walk – Final @ 18:30
With the London 2012 silver medallist Erick Barrondo and bronze medallist Zhen Wang making a return and looking to better their 2012 result, along with a strong Japanese trio who have all had times this year that would’ve given them a medal in the 2012 games, this event should be a close fought battle.
Women’s 1500m – Round 1 @ 00:30
This year’s 1500m women’s race features none of the medallists from the London 2012 games but it does feature plenty of successful athletes. Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, GB’s Laura Muir and Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum have the quickest times this year, so watch out for them to progress from their heats.
Women’s heptathlon – Shot put @ 00:35
Women’s hammer throw – Qualifications @ 00:40
Both the silver medallist and bronze medallist from London 2012 are competing again this year, Anita Wlodarczyk and Betty Heidler. However, Wlodarczyk seems to be the favourite to get to the final as she has the 10 furthest throws this year.
Men’s 400m – Round 1 @ 01:05
The men’s 400m event is full of stars. Not only does it have the three London medallists returning but it has a host of other successful runners from this year, too. USA’s LaShawn Merritt will be looking to capitalise on having the best time this year and making himself the one to beat tonight.
Men’s long jump – Qualifications @ 01:20
Only the gold medallist from London 2012 is returning, Team GB’s Greg Rutherford, which means this years competition will be wide open. Especially considering that Rutherford hasn’t beaten his London 2012 distance this year, but five other competitors have – USA’s Jarrion Lawson and Mike Hartfield, Sweden’s Michel Torneus and South Africa’s Rushwal Samaai – they are all among the guys to watch.
Women’s shot put – Final @ 02:00
Women’s heptathlon – 200m @ 02:05
Women’s 100m – Round 1 @ 02:40