Athletics Athletics

Rio Olympic braces for Bolt and more

The Jamaican’s quest for a third successive triumph is one of the undoubted centrepieces of these Games © AFP / Franck Fife

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 14 – Super Saturday is followed by Sensational Sunday at the Olympics where Usain Bolt should transfix the sporting world when he explodes out of the 100 metres starting blocks.

The Jamaican’s quest for a third successive triumph is one of the undoubted centrepieces of these Games.

But the final at 0125 GMT is by no means the only act in town on another day of heady competition in Rio.

The blistering speed test at the Olympic Stadium is part of the mouthwatering 22-gold medal smorgasbord served up for day nine of the 2016 Games.

In tennis, a memorable men’s singles final is in prospect between Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.

Britain’s Andy Murray is seeking to become the first player to defend an Olympic singles crown © AFP/File / Martin Bernetti

Scot Murray is seeking to become the first player to defend an Olympic singles crown.

At the Olympic golf course, watched on by the resident caimans, Murray’s fellow Briton, Justin Rose, is the man to catch for the first Olympic golf gold medal since 1904.

But British Open winner Henrik Stenson lurks only one stroke adrift entering the final round.

At the Velodrome another Brit, Jason Kenny, is hoping to grab the headlines when he defends his London 2012 individual sprint title.

Olympics finals programme for Sunday August 14 © AFP

In the boxing ring the serious business begins with the men’s light flyweight final where Yurberjen Martinez is vying to become the first Colombian to win Olympic boxing gold.

In his way is a Manny Pacquiao-inspired Uzbek fighter Hasanboy Dusmatov.

While the two pugilists pummel each other at Rio’s gymnastics arena Britain’s Max Whitlock bids to defend his 2012 pommel horse crown.

And Simone Biles and Kohei Uchimura, the undisputed sovereigns of gymnastics in Brazil, are in the hunt for a third Games gold.

Nineteen-year-old Biles stars in the vault, and Japan’s Uchimura on the floor.

In the uneven bars Russian Aliya Mustafina will battle with Americans Madison Kocian and Gabrielle Douglas, to hold her title.

US gymnast Simone Biles has her sights set on a third Olympic gold in Rio © AFP/File / Emmanuel Dunand

There are also gold medals up for grabs in weightlifting, greco-roman wrestling, diving, sailing, shooting and fencing.

Day two of track and field action meanwhile gets underway with an event that takes roughly 850 times longer to run than the 100m – namely the women’s marathon.

Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba is aiming to add this to her world title. Her main dangers include Kenya’s Helah Kiprop, London Marathon winner Jemima Sumgong, Paris Marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho, and Bahrain’s Kenya-born Eunice Kirwa.

Defending champion Kirani James and 2008 titleholder LaShawn Merritt clash in the men’s 400m final, and 2012 winner Olga Rypakova and Caterine Ibarguen face off in the women’s triple jump.

And so to sprinting’s el gran senor, Usain Bolt.

Justin Gatlin (R) of the USA will face off with Jamaica’s Usain Bolt (L) in the 100m final in Rio © AFP/File / Olivier Morin

With his mum and dad in town the Jamaican superstar sailed through Friday’s 100m preliminaries as he launched his bid for the ‘treble-treble’ — winning 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold for three Olympics in a row.

In what is being billed as a Good v Evil battle, Bolt clashes with arch-rival Justin Gatlin, the fastest man this year.