Olympics: Sport by sport guide

Archery

Dates: July 27-August 3

Olympic fact: South Korea's Im Dong-hyun, gold medallist in the team event in 2004 and 2008, is legally blind.

British prospects: Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard, Larry Godfrey, Simon Terry

International stars: Yun Ok-hee, Ki Bo-bae, Im Dong-hyun, Brady Ellison


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Athletics

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Dates: August 3-12

Olympic fact: Tug of war was part of the Olympic athletics programme from 1900 until 1920.

British prospects: Jessica Ennis, left, Phillips Idowu, Mo Farah, Dai Greene

International stars: Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, Allyson Felix, Haile Gebrselassie

Badminton

Dates: July 28-August 5

Olympic fact: Shuttlecocks can travel at speeds in excess of 245mph.

British prospects: Nathan Robertson, Jenny Wallwork

International stars: Lee Chong-wei, Lin Dan

Basketball

Dates: July 28-August 12

Olympic fact: The first official Olympic basketball tournament was held outdoors at the 1936 Berlin games.

British prospects: Luol Deng, Ben Gordon

International stars: Yao Ming, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James

Beach Volleyball

Dates: July 28-August 9

Olympic fact: Five of the eight Olympic gold medals awarded since the sport's introduction in 1996 have been won by the United States.

British prospects: Shauna Mullin, Zara Dampney

International stars: Kerri Walsh, Misty May-Treanor, Julius Brink, Jonas Reckermann

Boxing

Dates: July 28-August 12

Olympic fact: Boxing has been included at every Olympics since 1904 except the 1912 Games in Stockholm, where the sport was banned under Swedish law.

British prospects: Luke Campbell, Thomas Stalker, Nicola Adams, Savannah Marshall

International stars: Vasyl Lomachenko, Roberto Cammarelle, Katie Taylor

Canoeing

Dates: Slalom – July 29-August 2; Sprint – August 6-11

Olympic fact: Members of the public can try out the white water course at Lee Valley until September 2011

British prospects: Ed McKeever, Rachel Cawthorn, Tim Brabants, Lizzie Neave

International stars: Max Hoff, Katalin Kovacs, Tony Estanguet

Cycling

Dates: Road – July 28-29, August 1; Track – August 2-7; BMX – August 8-10; Mountain Bike – August 11-12

Olympic fact: Sir Chris Hoy was the first Briton to win three gold medals at a single Olympic games since swimmer Henry Taylor in 1908.

British prospects: Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Mark Cavendish, Shanaze Reade

International stars: Awang Azizulhasni, Tyler Farrar, Marianne Vos, Julien Absalon

Diving

Dates: July 29-August 1, August 3-11

Olympic fact: Australia's Matthew Mitcham denied China a clean sweep of gold medals in Beijing with victory in the 10 metre platform

British prospects: Tom Daley, main picture above, Peter Waterfield, Tonia Couch, Sarah Barrow

International stars: Qiu Bo, Liang Huo, Matthew Mitcham

Equestrian

Dates: Eventing – July 28-31; Dressage – August 2-3, August 7, August 9; Showjumping – August 4-6, August 8

Olympic fact: The first time equestrian featured in the Olympics, in 1900, among the events were a high jump and long jump.

British prospects: Laura Bechtolsheimer, William Fox-Pitt, Piggy French, Michael Whitaker

International stars: Mark Todd, Michael Jung, Kevin Staut, Adelinde Cornelissen

Fencing

Dates: July 28-August 5

Olympic fact: There are three different types of weapon used in Olympic fencing: foil, epee and sabre.

British prospects: Richard Kruse, Laurence Halsted

International stars: Magdalena Piekarska, Gauthier Grumier, Lei Sheng, Elisa Di Francisca

Football

Dates: July 25-August 11

Olympic fact: Denmark's Sophus Nielsen in 1908 and Gottfried Fuchs of Germany in 1912 both scored 10 goals in single Olympic matches.

British prospects: Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones, Andy Carroll, Ellen White

International stars: Neymar, David De Gea, Marta

Gymnastics

Dates: Artistic – July 28-August 2, August 5-7; Trampoline – August 3-4; Rhythmic – August 9-12

Olympic fact: Louis Smith's bronze on the pommel horse in Beijing was the first individual medal won in gymnastics at the Olympic Games by a British athlete since Walter Tysall's silver a century earlier.

British prospects: Beth Tweddle, Louis Smith, left, Daniel Keatings, Daniel Purvis

International stars: Kohei Uchimura, Aliya Mustafina, Rebecca Bross

Handball

Dates: July 28-August 12

Olympic fact: Britain will compete in the Olympic handball competition for the first time in 2012.

British prospects: Ciaran Williams, Lynne McCafferty

International stars: Nikola Karabatic, Emiliya Turey

Hockey

Dates: July 29-August 11

Olympic fact: The hockey tournament in 2012 will be played on blue pitches, the first time a colour other than green has been used for the artificial grass surface.

British prospects: Jonty Clarke, Richard Mantell, Helen Richardson, Alex Danson

International stars: Jamie Dwyer, Luciana Aymar

Judo

Dates: July 28-August 3

Olympic fact: Great Britain have won seven silver medals and nine bronzes in judo but never an Olympic gold.

British prospects: Euan Burton, Craig Fallon, Ashley McKenzie, Sophie Cox

International stars: Wang Ki-chun, Teddy Riner, Yoshie Ueno, Kayla Harrison

Modern Pentathlon

Dates: August 11-12

Olympic fact: Modern pentathlon was invented by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, to simulate the experience of a cavalryman.

British prospects: Mhairi Spence, Heather Fell, Nick Woodbridge

International stars: Adam Marosi, Lena Schoneborn, Amelie Caze

Rowing

Dates: July 28-August 4

Olympic fact: Rowing has been in the Olympics at every Games except 1896, when it was cancelled due to poor weather.

British prospects: Katherine Grainger, Anna Watkins, Pete Reed, Andy Hodge

International stars: Mahe Drysdale, Eric Murray, Hamish Bond, Ekaterina Karsten

Sailing

Dates: July 29-August 11

Olympic fact: Sailing was a mixed Olympic event until the 1988 Games in Seoul, when separate classes for men and women were introduced.

British prospects: Ben Ainslie, Paul Goodison, Iain Percy, Andrew Simpson

International stars: Pierre Leboucher, Vincent Garos, Dorian van Rijsselberge, Marina Alabau

Shooting

Dates: July 28-August 6

Olympic fact: Around 275,000 clay targets will be used during the 2012 Shotgun competition.

British prospects: Peter Wilson, Elena Allen

International stars: Chiara Cainero, Pang Wei

Swimming

Dates: July 28-August 4; Synchronised – August 5-7, August 9-10; Open Water – August 9-10

Olympic fact: London marks the centenary of women being allowed to swim in the Games.

British prospects: Fran Halsall, Lizzie Simmonds, Rebecca Adlington, Jemma Lowe

International stars: Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, Alicia Coutts, Federica Pellegrini

Table Tennis

Dates: July 28-August 8

Olympic fact: China have won more than half of the Olympic medals awarded in table tennis.

British prospects: Paul Drinkhall, Darius Knight

International stars: Wang Hao, Ma Lin, Li Xiaoxia

Taekwondo

Dates: August 8-11

Olympic fact: Taekwondo first appeared in the Olympic programme as a demonstration sport in 1988 in Seoul, where the sport also featured heavily in the opening ceremony.

British prospects: Sarah Stevenson, Aaron Cook, Jade Jones

International stars: Yousef Karami, Wu Jingyu

Triathlon

Dates: August 4, August 7

Olympic fact: British athletes have won 10 world titles but no Olympic medals.

British prospects: Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownlee, Helen Jenkins

International stars: Javier Gomez, Paula Findlay

Volleyball

Dates: July 28-August 12

Olympic fact: The height of the net differs between men's and women's competitions (2.43 metres for men, 2.24m for women).

British prospects: Dami Bakare, Ben Pipes

International stars: Richard Lambourne, Jaqueline Carvalho

Water Polo

Dates: July 29-August 10, August 12

Olympic fact: The 1956 Olympic final in Melbourne between Hungary and the USSR is known as the 'Blood in the water game' as it took place during the Hungarian uprising.

British prospects: Ed Scott, Angela Winstanley-Smith

International stars: Miho Boskovic, Danielle de Bruijn

Weightlifting

Dates: July 28-August 1, August 3-7

Olympic fact: Weightlifting was one of the seven sports that made up the programme of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

British prospects: Zoe Smith, Peter Kirkbride

International stars: Behdad Salimi, Nurcan Taylan

Wrestling

Dates: Greco-Roman – August 5-7; Freestyle – August 8-12

Olympic fact: The longest wrestling contest in Olympic history occurred at Stockholm in 1912 and lasted 11 hours.

British prospects: Myroslav Dykun, Krasimir Krastanov

International stars: Aslanbek Khushtov, Carol Huynh

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