Olympic Track and Field Schedule 2012: When to Catch London's Biggest Sprints

Scott CarasikContributor IIAugust 4, 2012

EUGENE, OR - JUNE 24:  Justin Gatlin (R) celebrates after winning the men's 100 meter dash final ahead of Tyson Gay (L) and Michael Rodgers during Day Three of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 24, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Track and field is famous based on the sprints. The biggest sprints are the 100- and 200-meter dashes and those take place between August 3 to August 9.

People remember Florence Griffith-Joyner as a gold medalist in the 100- and 200-meter dash. She won gold and in the process the world's heart. In order to catch the action and see who the next Flo Jo is this year, tune into NBC and NBS Sports networks. 


Men's 100-Meter Dash

When: Preliminaries on August 4, Semifinals and Finals on August 5

Favorites: Usain Bolt (Jamaica), Yohan Blake (Jamaica), Asafa Powell (Jamaica), Tyson Gay (United States), Justin Gatlin (United States)

The 100 meter is essentially two races. The first is the competition between Bolt and Blake for the gold and silver medals. The next will be between Powell, Gay and Gatlin for the bronze. This one has more than just gold to be won.

This one could have a world and Olympic record broken in it. It's definitely the race to watch and one that should end up as one of the highest-rated races of all time as people will want to see Bolt repeat his amazing feat from 2008.


Men's 200-Meter Dash

When: Prelimaries on August 7, Semifinals on August 8, Finals on August 9

Favorites: Usain Bolt (Jamaica), Yohan Blake (Jamaica), Wallace Spearmon (United States), Churandy Martina (Netherlands), Christophe Lemaitre (France)

The United States only really has one truly good competitor here, but that doesn't mean to just completely tune out. Expect this to be just as exciting as the 100-meter final. It will be similar in that the top three will be neck and neck in this one with the other two in a close group behind them.

Part of what makes the 200 much harder is the staggered starting blocks around the edge as opposed to how the 100 has a completely straight stretch. This makes for a much more interesting race as the guy on the block that is the farthest back initially could end up as the winner of the race.


Women's 100-Meter Dash

When: Prelimaries on August 3, Semifinals and Finals on August 4

Favorites: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica), Carmelita Jeter (United States), Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica), Allyson Felix (United States)

The Jamaican Fraser-Pryce is one of the best two sprinters in the world. Her main competition of Carmelita Jeter from the U.S. will make this amazingly fun to watch. Both women get great burst off the line and should be neck and neck the whole race. 

Campbell-Brown from Jamaica and Felix from the U.S. are going to compete for that bronze medal behind the previous pair. This could be the absolute best race to watch as it will feature multiple mini-races within the entire pursuit.


Women's 200 Meter Dash

When: Prelimaries on August 6, Semifinals on August 7, Finals on August 8

Favorites: Allyson Felix (United States), Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica), Carmelita Jeter (United States), Sanya Richards-Ross (United States)

This field is absolutely loaded with Americans who can win the gold. Richards-Ross owns the best time in the event, but she will have stiff competition from Felix, Jeter and current two-time gold medal winner Campbell-Brown. 

The best of the best is likely going to be Richards-Ross, but this is one that you just can't miss. There is too much talent in the race for it to not be interesting. The women's sprints are going to be more interesting than the men's, so don't miss them.


Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and runs the NFL draft website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.