The Games of the XXXI Olympiad are well underway in Rio de Janeiro and it is now time for the Olympic Stadium to take centre stage as the track and field athletes join the party on Friday (12 August). The opening weekend will feature an absolute feast of distance running with both of the 10,000m finals and the women’s marathon taking place.
Exeter Harriers’ Jo Pavey lists the Red Hot Chilli Peppers among her favourite music and as one of the most experienced Olympians in Rio she will be well prepared for the heat of competition in the 10,000m final at 15:10 (BST) on Friday.
Pavey gained late selection when she finished fifth in the European Championships (31:34.61) last month. She will be joined by British champion, Jessica Andrews and Beth Potter. Jo makes a record fifth Olympic Games and is the oldest ever athletics Olympian, celebrating her 43rd birthday in September.
Mo Farah could ensure a repeat of the London 2012 ‘Super Saturday’ if he is successful in his quest to defend his Olympic 10,000m title and Jess Ennis-Hill (Pentathlon) and Greg Rutherford (Long Jump) also strike gold. Farah starts at 01:25hrs and it will be well worth setting the alarm clock as he rarely seems to win his major titles by big margins.
Farah will have Ross Millington and Andy Vernon for company in the call room and on the warm up track but he will have to be at his best to once again outwit a world class field increasingly aware of his preferred tactics over 25 laps.
The women’s marathon starts at 13:30hrs on Sunday so time for a decent training run before settling down to watch Sonia Samuels and Alyson Dixon competing over the classic distance. There is plenty to look forward to next week and the Rio 2016 website has all the information you need to support the Games.