We take a sprint through the Olympics athletics schedule to highlight some of the stars and events you’ll want to watch out for
When is Mo Farah racing? On what day will Usain Bolt get his triple title defence underway? And when will Jessica Ennis-Hill go for heptathlon gold?
We take a day-by-day look through the athletics schedule and highlight some of the action on offer. Times stated are local (with BST in brackets). The UK is four hours ahead of Brazil, so times given could be past midnight, and therefore the next day in the UK.
Once you’ve whet your appetite with the below, be sure to check out the August 11 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine for our full in-depth event-by-event previews.
Friday August 12
Jessica Ennis-Hill begins the defence of her heptathlon title with the 100m hurdles at 9.35am (1.35pm). Jo Pavey becomes the first female British track athlete to compete at five Olympics as she takes on athletes including Ethiopians Almaz Ayana and Tirunesh Dibaba in the 10,000m final at 11.10am (3.10pm).
Saturday August 13
Four years ago on ‘Super Saturday’ in London Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford all won gold. This time Rutherford contests the long jump from 8.50pm (12.50am), while Farah runs in the 10,000m final at 9.25pm (1.25am) and the last event of the heptathlon – the 800m – sees Ennis-Hill take to the track at 10.53pm (2.53am). Usain Bolt is among those in 100m heats action from 12.00pm (4.00pm), while the women’s 100m final takes place at 10.35pm (2.35am).
Sunday August 14
The men’s 100m final at 10.25pm (2.25am) brings the day’s action to a close and could again see Usain Bolt go head-to-head with Justin Gatlin. LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James are among those who could contest the 400m final at 10.00pm (2.00am). The women’s marathon is at 9.30am (1.30pm), with Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba and Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong among the athletes in action.
Monday August 15
After the heats on Saturday and the semi-finals on Sunday, the final of the women’s 400m at 10.45pm (2.45am) on Monday could see Christine Ohuruogu and Allyson Felix among those lining up. France’s world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie will be looking to retain his pole vault title from 8.35pm (12.35am).
Tuesday August 16
Christian Taylor has his eye on the world triple jump record and when asked which he would prefer – a world record or to retain his Olympic title in Rio – he said: “I would like to break the world record AT the Olympic Games!” The final takes place from 9.50am (1.50pm). Britain’s Robbie Grabarz and Chris Baker will be among those hoping to make their mark in the high jump final from 8.30pm (12.30am), while Britain’s Laura Muir will be lookin to continue her superb season with a strong performance in the 1500m, the final for which is at 10.30pm (2.30am).
Wednesday August 17
The decathlon gets underway with the 100m from 9.30am (1.30pm), with USA’s world record-holder and defending champion Ashton Eaton a clear favourite. The women’s long jump final – which could feature three Britons in Shara Proctor, Lorraine Ugen and Jazmin Sawyers – gets underway at 9.15pm (1.15am) and the women’s 200m final is at 10.30pm (2.30am), with Dina Asher-Smith among those competing in Rio. The final track event of the day is the women’s 100m hurdles final at 10.55pm (2.55am), which is missing new world record-holder Kendra Harrison and sees her fellow American Brianna Rollins starts as favourite. Sisters Tiffany Porter and Cindy Ofili contest the event for GB.
Thursday August 18
Provided all has gone according to his plan, Usain Bolt will continue in his attempt to successfully defend his three titles twice, with the 200m final at 10.30pm (2.30am). Justin Gatlin and LaShawn Merritt will also be looking to double up with the 100m. The final event of the decathlon – the 1500m – gets underway at 9.45pm (1.45am).
Friday August 19
Seven finals take place on day eight of athletics action, starting with the men’s 50km race walk at 8.00am (12.00pm) and ending with the 4x100m relays – the women’s at 10.15pm (2.15am) and the men’s at 10.35pm (2.35am). With this set to be Usain Bolt’s final Olympic Games, this relay could be the last time he races at the Olympics.
Saturday August 20
Day nine sees another seven finals take place, with the women’s high jump the first at 20.30pm (12.30am) and the 4x400m relays the last, with the women’s event at 10.00pm (2.00am) and the men’s at 10.35pm (2.35am). Mo Farah could retain his 5000m title, with the event getting underway at 9.30pm (1.30am), while the men’s 1500m final takes place at 9.00pm (1.00am) and Britain’s Charlie Grice is among those hoping to be in action. Although she won the 400m, 800m and 1500m all on one day at the South African trials, Caster Semenya is said to only be contesting the 800m in Rio and that final is at 9.15pm (1.15am).
Sunday August 21
The final event on the athletics programme is the men’s marathon, which begins at 9.30am (1.30pm) on the last day of the Games. Scottish brothers Derek and Callum Hawkins and Tsegai Tewelde run for Great Britain, while other athletes entered include Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and USA’s Galen Rupp. The closing ceremony takes place at the Maracanã Stadium, venue for track and field action, from 7.15pm (11.15pm).
» Check out our dedicated online Rio 2016 section for reports, news, interviews, results and more, while you can find a downloadable athletics timetable here. See the August 11 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine for our full in-depth event-by-event previews