Olympic Track and Field Schedule 2012: Key Storylines for Day 9 Action

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  (L-R) Asafa Powell of Jamaica, Churandy Martina of Netherlands and Obinna Metu of Nigeria compete in the Men's 100m  Round 1 Heats on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The track and field events are underway and with many of the qualifying heats out of the way, the action should really start to heat up in today's events. Day 9 features some of the biggest names in track and field in the sport's biggest events. 

With a myriad of events going on, there will be plenty to watch as these athletes try to earn medals for their country. Here are the best events and storylines to keep an eye on as Sunday progresses. A full listing of the events can be found here.


The Quest for 100-meter Gold Continues

The men's 100-meter dash is one of the most exciting events in all of history. It doesn't last long, but it's as an exciting 10-11 seconds you will see in sports. 

Usain Bolt dominated the event at the 2008 Games as he set the Olympic record with a time of 9.69 seconds on his way to taking three gold medals at the Games. This year, the competition should be a lot more intense.

At qualifying, Bolt won his heat with a time of 10.09 but the seven other runners posted faster times in Round 1 including Bolt's countrymen Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake and Americans Ryan Bailey and Justin Gatlin. 

Semifinals for the event start at 2:45 p.m. ET and the finals be held at 4:50 p.m. ET. With fierce competition for the gold, the finale is sure to be one of the highlights of the Olympics.


Men's Hammer Throw Final

The hammer throw isn't a heralded event, but it is awesome to watch. 

For those who aren't familiar with the hammer toss, it's an event in which fairly large athletes throw a heavy metal ball that is attached to a wire and handle. The "hammer" weighs sixteen pounds, and a throw of 82.02 meters took home the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics.

Heading into the final, Hungary's Krisztian Pars is the front-runner to take home gold. The Hungarian recorded a throw of 79.37 meters in qualifying. Following Pars will be Japan's Koji Murofushi, who recorded a 78.48 meter throw in qualifying.

With both athletes looking to record even higher marks in the final round and less than one meter separating their qualifying throws, the final should be entertaining and competitive. 


Women's 400-meter Hurdle Qualifying

Fans of hurdles will have plenty to watch Saturday—the women's 400-meter hurdle will have five heats of qualifying in the afternoon starting at 2 p.m. ET.

Qualifying times should give us a good idea of what it will take to win gold this year—a time of 52.64 seconds posted by Jamaica's Melaine Walker. 

Walker returns to the Games at London to attempt to defend her hurdle title but she will face stiff competition from her Jamaican teammates, Nickieshia Wilson and Kaliese Spencer. Walker claimed the fastest time in qualifying in 2008, so getting off to a good start is a key indicator to who will have the best chance at claiming gold.