LONDON – Fresh from 100 metres glory Jamaica’s Usain Bolt begins a highly anticipated 200m title defence at the London Olympics on Tuesday, while women’s 100m hurdles world champion Sally Pearson is favourite to go one better than her silver in Beijing.
Australia’s Pearson, who holds the event’s fastest performance since 1992 (12.28 seconds), is likely to face competition from American duo Lolo Jones, best remembered for stumbling in the final as favourite in Beijing, and defending Olympic champion Dawn Harper.
The semi-finals start at 1915 local time with the final at 2100.
Bolt, who wowed the crowd on Sunday night by becoming the only man to cross the line first in two 100m finals, returns to the Olympic stadium bidding to become the first man to win two 200m golds and cement himself as unquestionably the greatest sprinter in history.
Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, the world’s fastest man this year, will have one thing on his mind in London – to win the 1500m properly. The world champion has often expressed his dissatisfaction at taking Olympic gold in Beijing after Rashid Ramzi was stripped of his title for a doping offence.
A Kenyan clean sweep could be on the cards, with Commonwealth champion Silas Kiplagat and youngster Nixon Chebseba both in with a chance of a podium finish.
Gold medals will also be up for grabs in the men’s high jump and discus finals, as well as final berths in the men’s 800 metres and women’s 200 metres.