RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, Sporting Alert – Track and field competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games begins on Friday with a full schedule, which gets underway at 9:30 am (8:30 ET).
Three finals are slated to go down on Day 1, with medals in the women’s 10,000m, men’s 20 Kilometres Race Walk and women’s Shot Put all up for the taking.
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Two-time defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia will try and defend her title in the women’s 10,000m, but even she knows that will be a very mighty mission to accomplish.
Since defending the title she won in Beijing in 2008 in London in 2012, Dibaba has had some activities in her life.
Sitting high on that list is her becoming a mother, which resulted in her racing sparingly during that period.
Dibaba heads into Rio 2016 with the fourth-fastest time in the world this year, at 30:28.53, and if she can somehow find a way to pull off a victory, the 30-year-old would become the first woman to win three successive individual track and field event at an Olympic Games.
Leading the way in the event, though, is another Ethiopian, world 5000m champion Almaz Ayana, who made her debut in the event with 30:07.00, which heads the 2016 performance list.
World championships silver medallist Gelete Burka, who finished behind Ayana at the Ethiopian trial in Hengelo in June, has the third-fastest time in the world this year and should be in the conversations for the top podium place.
Kenya’s world champion Vivian Cheruiyot, the bronze medallist from the London Olympics in 2012, will surely be a contender, along with her countrywoman Alice Aprot, who holds the second-fastest time in the world this term.
Americans Emily Infeld and Molly Huddle and Turkey’s Yasemin Can, the European champion, are also expected to be in the leading pack.
In the women’s Shot Put, two-time defending champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand, China’s Gong Lijiao, the London bronze medallist and world silver medallist in Beijing, last year and world champion Christina Schwanitz of Germany will be among the top throwers hunting spots in the event final during the morning session.
Also on the schedule for Day 1 in track and field are the heats in the men’s 400m, women’s 100m, men’s 800m heats, as well as the women’s Heptathlon.
RIO 2016 DAY 1 TRACK SCHEDULE
LOCAL TIME ET TIME SEX EVENT ROUND
09:30 08:30 M Discus Throw Qualification Group A
09:35 08:35 W 100 Metres Hurdles Heptathlon
10:05 09:05 W Shot Put Qualification
10:10 09:10 M 800 Metres Heats
10:50 09:50 W High Jump Heptathlon
10:55 09:55 M Discus Throw Qualification Group B
11:10 10:10 W 10,000 Metres Final
11:55 10:55 W 100 Metres Preliminary Round
LOCAL TIME ET TIME SEX EVENT ROUND
14:30 13:30 M 20 Kilometres Race Walk Final
20:30 19:30 W 1500 Metres Heats
20:35 19:35 W Shot Put Heptathlon
20:40 19:40 W Hammer Throw Qualification Group A
21:05 20:05 M 400 Metres Heats
21:20 20:20 M Long Jump Qualification
22:00 21:00 W Shot Put Final
22:05 21:05 W 200 Metres Heptathlon
22:10 21:10 W Hammer Throw Qualification Group B
22:40 21:40 W 100 Metres Heats