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Sports in the spotlight

Olympic sport spotlight: Track and field, tennis

Track and field

The big names

Tyson Gay, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell in the 100 meters. Ex-Seminole Walter Dix and Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, double-medal threats in the 100 and 200. Americans Lauryn Williams, a former Hurricane, in the 100 and Allyson Felix in the 200. Bryan Clay in the decathlon. Tampa native and former USF standout Damu Cherry and Lolo Jones in the 100 hurdles. Bernard Lagat in the 1,500 and 5,000. Reese Hoffa in the shot put. China's Liu Xiang, defending gold medalist in the 110 hurdles.

The big events

The sprints, the decathlon, the 110 hurdles.

The biggest thing to know about it

No athlete in the Games is under as much pressure as Liu. He's one of China's biggest sports figures. The government sports machine has made him its primary investment in time and money (one estimate is that 20 percent of its sports science budget is for him). Ping An, China's second-largest insurer by market share, donated $13.3-million of coverage for his legs.

Tennis

The big names

Roger Federer. Rafael Nadal. The hottest men's player not named Federer or Nadal, Andy Murray. Venus and Serena Williams. World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic. Three pros who live in the Tampa Bay area, James Blake, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

The big events

The men's bracket is set up for a Federer-Nadal gold-medal match. If Nadal wins his opener, he'll face a potentially troublesome second-round match against either former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt or Jonas Bjorkman. The women's gold-medal match could have the Williams sisters.

The biggest thing to know about it

Think of the tournament as a fifth major in the Grand Slam.

Sharon Fink, Times staff writer

Olympic sport spotlight: Track and field, tennis 08/07/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 10:37am]
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