London Olympics 2012: Shootout for title of world`s fastest man
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London Olympics 2012: Shootout for title of world`s fastest man

Last Updated: Saturday, August 04, 2012, 16:42
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London Olympics 2012: Shootout for title of world`s fastest man
London: The fastest man in the world will be crowned on day three of athletics events at the London Olympics, which starts on sunday morning with the women`s marathon through the city`s streets.

Barring unforeseen circumstances defending champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica and his training partner and world champion Yohan Blake will take centre stage in the blue riband 100m in a battle that promises to light up the Games.

Bolt smashed the world record to win gold four years ago but comes into the race looking vulnerable after Blake edged him in the Jamaican trials in both sprints.

Also expected to be in the hunt for medals are the likes of former world record holder Asafa Powell, also of Jamaica, and the US pair Justin Gatlin, the disgraced 2004 champion, and Tyson Gay, the second-fastest man in history.

"I am the Olympic champion and I have to show the world I am the best," Bolt, 25, said on the eve of the Games.

Blake, crowned world champion in Daegu last year after Bolt sensationally false-started in the final, said: "My philosophy is that the sky`s the limit. I`ve always wanted to be at the Olympics. It`s everyone`s dream."

Sunday`s athletics program kicks off with the women`s marathon at 11:00 am, starting and finishing in the Mall in central London, near Buckingham Palace, and taking in many of the city`s most famous landmarks.

The powerful Kenyan team features 2011 world champion Edna Kiplagat, last year`s world silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo and Mary Keitany, the fastest woman in the world this year.

Britain, meanwhile, wrapped up the group stage winless and in last place in Group B, earning it a matchup with Spain in the knockout stage.

Spain will be without coach Miguel Angel Oca for the game, after he received a red card against Hungary and one-game suspension.

Australia, which along with the U.S. Was considered the gold medal-favorite coming into the competition, locked up the top seed on the other side of the bracket by beating previously undefeated Russia.

The Australians jumped out to a 6-4 lead in a fast-paced first quarter before the game settled down into the physical contest that was expected out of the medal contenders.

"We`ve come here for one job, and that`s to get the gold medal, so just six games -- three down -- and just ticking the boxes really as we keep going," Zagame said. "Hopefully we`ll finish on the podium, hopefully on the top."

In the quarterfinals, Australia will face China, who is assured a fourth-place finish in Group B. While the Chinese have been in poor form so far in London, the other teams remain wary of the 2011 world championship runners-up.

"They`re a very strong team," said Australia coach Greg McFadden.

"Unfortunately they haven`t played that well here -- or fortunately, I hope they continue that way -- it`s going to be a tough game, and we know each other very well because we play against each other a lot and we used to train together, so it`s going to be very difficult, and like I said, it`s sudden death now, so the pressure`s going to be on everyone."

AGENCIES


First Published: Saturday, August 04, 2012, 12:50

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