Jamaica’s electrifying sprint king Usain Bolt, the fastest man in history, takes to the track for one of the marquee events of the entire Games: the men’s 100m final. In Beijing, a 21-year-old Bolt shocked the world – and blew away the field – in world record time. Now, the world’s top sprinters are gunning for him, including a pair of Americans: 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin and American record holder Tyson Gay. But Bolt’s biggest competition could come from his own training partner, Yohan Blake, who defeated him at Jamaica’s Trials by running the fastest time in the world since 2009. Meanwhile, in the 400m, former world champion Sanya Richards-Ross seeks her first individual Olympic gold in her signature event – a distinction that would help her keep pace with her husband Aaron Ross, who earlier this year won his second Super Bowl with the New York Giants. In the semifinals of the men’s 400m, Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt continues his attempt to become the only man besides Michael Johnson to successfully defend a 400m title, while collegiate standout Bryshon Nellum competes less than four years after being shot in both legs near the USC campus.
The top gymnasts in the world return to North Greenwich Arena for the first day of individual event finals. In women’s vault, 16-year-old McKayla Maroney, the daughter of a former Purdue quarterback, was the 2011 world champion and is a heavy favorite for gold with her signature Amanar vault.
On the sand at majestic Horse Guards Parade, beach volleyball enters the quarterfinals, where a single loss means the end of an Olympic run. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings are eyeing a golden three-peat after sweeping the competition in Athens and Beijing.