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Get set for the London Olympics
LONDON OLYMPICS 2012
The eyes of the world will be on London on 27 July. The 2012 Olympics Games launch with a fitting showbiz ceremony in the main 80,000-seat stadium, culminating in the lighting of the Olympics cauldron before an anticipated TV audience of four billion. Over 19 days, 10,500 athletes from 203 countries will compete before up to nine million spectators. Some 900,000 items of gear will be required, including nine trampolines 2700 footballs and 65,000 towels.
The fastest man
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is the odds-on 100 metres Olympics favourite. Pictured here winning the 200-meter gold medal in Beijing in 2008, he holds the current-100 and 200-meter world records in 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds respectively. Christophe Lemaitre, who set a new French 100 meters record of 9.92 seconds last summer may be Europe;s strongest contender. The time for woman 100-meter sprinters to beat remains the world record of 10.49 seconds set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner in Indianapolis in 1988.
The strongest woman
Lulu Zhou of china took the title as the World Weightlifting Championships in French last November. Weighing 130 kilos, she set the aggregate world record of 328 kilos, the combined total of two lifts: the "snatch" (146 kilos) and "clean and jerk" (182 kilos). This was just one kilo more than the Russian Tatiana Kashirina achieved at the same event, and two kilos better than Beijing's Olympics gold medallist, South Korean Jang Mi-Ran. The target for men remains the 472 kilos set by the Iranian Hossein Rezazadeh at Sydney in 2000.
The biggest medal
Olympics medals have varied considerably in size and weight over the decades. The 1896 Athens medals were 48 mm n diameter and weighed 47 grams. Seen here in its actual size is London's gold, the biggest yet-85 m in diameter, 7 mm thick and weighing 400 grams. The front depicts the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. Individual sports and disciplines are engraved on the rim, making each medal unique. The 'gold' medal is in fact 92.5 percent silver with just six grams of gold plating the surface. Its value to the winners is considerably more.