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Bolt back for potential third Olympic gold medal

Usain Bolt's excellent adventure in Beijing takes another step Friday when the Jamaican sprinter leads his 4x100-meter relay team at the Bird's Nest.
At stake is a third gold medal for Bolt, who made Olympic history by becoming the first sprinter since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win both the 100 and 200-meter sprints at one games. And, even more incredibly, the first to do it while setting world records in both.
"I've written history, pretty much," Bolt said after his win in the 200.
On Friday, he'll get a chance to do it again.
Bolt and his Jamaican teammates, including 100 sprint rival Asafa Powell, will be challenged by the United States and Britain in the mad dash around the track with another capacity crowd of 91,000 expected to be cheering them on.
If Jamaica wins, the Caribbean country will be rocking and reggae-ing again.
"It means a lot for me and my country," Bolt said. "I spoke to the prime minister on the phone and he told me everybody is in the streets."
Jamaica will also be favored in the women's 4x100 relay. They have the top three finishers in the individual 100, but now they get to add Veronica Campbell-Brown, the reigning world champion in the dash.
Historically, the United States comes into the relay events with a commanding lead over other countries. They've collected 42 of 67 gold medals _ the first in 1912, the last in 2004 _ in either the 4x100 or 4x400 relays.
The Soviet Union, which won its last gold in 1988, is a distant second with five, followed by Britain and the former East Germany with four each.
Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, the Olympic record holder over 10,000 meters, is among the gold medal favorites in the women's 5,000 Friday, while other field events include the women's long jump and men's pole vault.
The men's 50-kilometer walk is set for an early morning start Friday due to expected high humidity, and the field is wide open with the injury withdrawal of world champion and record holder Nathan Deakes of Australia. He pulled out in late July with a hamstring injury.
Yohan Diniz of France is a slight favorite for gold in the event after winning silver behind Deakes at the 2007 worlds.
American beach volleyball players Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, the reigning world champions, are favored in the gold medal game. They'll play Marcio and Fabio, who upset Athens gold medalists Emanual and Ricardo to reach the final.
Dalhausser and Rogers have a chance to give the United States a sweep in beach volleyball after Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, the defending Olympic champions, won women's gold again Thursday.
The women's cross-country race in mountain biking will be contested Friday along with two BMX races washed out by heavy rain Thursday. In all, 22 golds will be presented as the games wind down to their Sunday finish.
Six gold medal races are scheduled in canoeing and kayaking and two in taekwondo. The modern pentathlon, the women's field hockey final between China and the Netherlands and table tennis women's singles round out the gold medal schedule.


Updated : 2021-05-15 07:45 GMT+08:00