Zeenews Sports Bureau
Over 10,000 athletes will participate in the 30th edition of the sporting extravaganza when the 2012 Summer Olympic Games get started with the opening ceremony on 27 July. Following are the five moments which would make London 2012 a historic Games.
With the lighting of the Olympic flame on Friday, London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948. London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating bids from Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris.
Jamaican Usain Bolt took the world by storm at the 2008 Beijing Games by winning three gold medals setting new world records. He rewrote the 100m history books in only his fifth senior run over the distance. He is the Olympic and World Record holder in 100 metres, 200 metres and 4×100 metres relay. However, Bolt faces a stiff challenge from fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake this time around. If he can overcome in-form Blake he will become the first man to achieve the 100m and 200m Olympic sprint double twice. No one has successfully defended the 200m title in Olympics. American Carl Lewis is the only man to win the 100m title back to back (in 1984 and 1988 Games).
The American swimmer has 16 Olympic medals to his credit. That included six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004 and eight gold at Beijing in 2008. He is second only to the Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina in terms of total Olympic medal. Larisa Latynina has 18 medals won over three Olympics. Phelps, who is just two short of that mark, has plenty of chances to bridge that gap as he is competing in seven events in London. This feat is easily achievable for Phelps considering his records over past Games. He holds the all-time record for most gold Olympic medals, at 14, as well as the record for most gold medals in individual events, at nine.
Brazil football team
Brazilian football team is the most successful team in the history of world football with five World Cup titles to their credit. Even though they have won silver in 1984 and 1988, and bronze in 1996 and 2008, an Olympic gold continues to elude them. However, Brazil are determined to end the drought this time around which is evident from their decision to send a strong squad to the Olympics. With the likes of Neymar, Oscar, Lucas, and Alexandre Pato in their ranks, the Brazilians are the team to beat in London.
The South African, who will compete in the 400m and the 4 x 400 m relay races, is set to be the first double amputee athlete to compete at the Olympics. Oscar Pistorius ran for the first time with able-bodied athletes in 2007. But a ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) made him ineligible to take part in the events with able-bodied athletes in future, which included the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But he was soon cleared after the IAAF`s decision was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.