Olympics 2012: Live Report

Judith Evans and Ruth Holmes
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PHOTO OF THE DAY: US swimmer Ryan Lochte flashes some spangly dental wear after his medley victory

US swimmer Ryan Lochte poses on the podium with the gold medal after winning the men's 400m individual medley swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London

2216 GMT: Things are winding down here in London now after the first full day of action. We'll leave you with our PHOTO OF THE DAY: Ryan Lochte flashing a winning smile on the podium after his dramatic win in the 400m medley which saw superstar Phelps pushed into fourth position.

And our TWEET OF THE DAY has got to be this from British cyclist Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) after his defeat in the cycling road race "Gutted. After 250km, less than a minute to 20guys. My guys were INCREDIBLE and there was nothing more we could do. Victims of our own success."

The 27-year-old's hopes of gold were crushed after Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan claimed an unexpected but deserved win.

To recap on the best of the action:

+ America's Ryan Lochte left record-chasing Michael Phelps trailing in a storming start to the London Olympics. Lochte's 400m individual medley showdown with 16-time medallist Phelps turned out to be a no-contest as he dominated to win in 4min 05.18sec, ahead of Brazilian Thiago Pereira and Japan's Kosuke Hagino, with Phelps back in fourth.

+ China's Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen wrote their name in the record books in a night of high drama in the aquatic centre. Sun became China's first ever male Olympic champion in the pool, with a commanding swim in the 400m freestyle while Ye, 16, shattered the 400m medley world record. There was also a win for China in the shooting, with Yi Siling claiming the first of the Games' 302 golds in the women's 10m Air Rifle.

+ Kazakh cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov shocked hosts Britain in the men's road race. Britain's Tour de France heroes Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish were undone by a combination of tactical racing and some incisive, late attacks, finishing well off the podium.

Join us again tomorrow for another day of Olympic action, including the women's cycling road race and another full programme of swimming. LIVE REPORT ENDS.

2202 GMT: HANDBALL: Just in -- the full list of results from the first of the women's handball matches, which have been taking place in the Copper Box venue:

Norway 23 France 24; Montenegro 31 Great Britain 19; Croatia 23 Brazil 24; Russia 30 Angola 27; Spain 27 South Korea 31; Denmark 21 Sweden 18.

2150 GMT: USA: On the sidelines of the action AFPTV's Jonathan Klein has been chatting to US Olympic legend Carl Lewis about what the Games mean to him.

"The Olympic Games are way beyond just competition, it's about bringing people together," says Lewis. "It's about a peaceful nation and world. And it's about competition, and it's about hard work, it's about discipline: all the great things that we need to teach our children, and our leaders, presidents and everyone in our countries around the world."

2144 GMT: Lots of support for Radcliffe on Twitter. Former British athlete Jonathan Edwards writes: "Very sad for Paula but not surprising. Retirement must be on cards... however brave, only so many knocks you can take."

Ex-Olympic champion swimmer Sharron Davies tweets simply: "Sorry to hear the news."

2134 GMT: BRITAIN: Breaking news -- British veteran Paula Radcliffe will be forced to pull out of the Olympic marathon due to injury, probably spelling the end of her Olympic career, according to reports in the Mail on Sunday.

The 38-year-old has been struggling for fitness since a foot injury flared up three weeks ago and is set to concede defeat in her bid to line up on August 5, a source told the paper. Team GB head of communications Darryl Seibel says he can't confirm the report.

2129 GMT: BOXING: AFP's Charles Irwin updates us on the action in the ExCel centre... Large Armenian contingent in crowd at boxing chanting "Armenia" -- instead of their boxer's name Andranik Hakobyan -- and drowning out support for USA fighter Terrell Gausha in the middlweight contest.

Wonder who they will cheer for when the Turkish fighter enters the ring in about 20 minutes' time.

2110 GMT: SWIMMING: Some reaction now from 16-year-old Ye Shiwen after her world-record setting win in the women's 400m medley earlier -- the second of two golds for China in the pool tonight. She says: "I thought at the 200 metres that the race was lost. But then on the breaststroke I realised I was in the top two or three and I was confident I could win on the last leg.

"I've been working on my butterfly and backstroke since last year's world championships and have closed the gap, while freestyle is my best stroke. I dreamed of winning the gold medal, but I never ever expected to break a world record, I'm overwhelmed."

2102 GMT: BASKETBALL: The first women's basketball matches have been taking place this afternoon. Here's some results just in:

China 66-Czech Republic 57; Canada 53 Russia 58; Turkey 72 Angola 50; United States 81 Croatia 56; Brazil 58 France 73.

AFP's Guy Jackson sent this from the stadium earlier: "Sampling the atmosphere in the basketball arena which will be rocking tomorrow afternoon when the US Dream Team play France. It's nearly full tonight for the French women against Brazil.

"Apparently the players and spectators like this arena because it's nice and loud! They even have a KissCam, which recently caught President Obama planting a smacker on and his wife Michelle at a match in Washington."

2053 GMT: TABLE TENNIS: Aia Mohamed joins shooter Bahia Al Hamad as one of the first Qatari women to compete in an Olympic Games but she admits: "I was really afraid. I didn't know how to play." Up against Zhang Mo of Canada -- a China-born former world top 100 player -- Ai lost her preliminary round match by 11-3, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3.

2038 GMT: SWIMMING: Apologies, I have a correction. Photos just in of Lochte on the podium show he was in fact wearing that sparkly dental wear of his. Meanwhile on Twitter rival Phelps shows no sign of bitterness, writing: "Congrats to @ryanlochte... Way to keep that title in the country where it belongs!!"

2032 GMT: The second bout between Moroccan Saddik lbida and Aussie Ibrahim Balla had the spectators seething after the first round when Balla had a one point lead-- and cheering as the Moroccan overturned it to lead by a point going into final round. Cheers turned to more jeers as the Aussie got the nod on countback leaving lbida in tears.

2027 GMT: BOXING: Over in the ExCel centre, located outside the main Olympic Park, 10,000 people are packed into the boxing arena with sizeable contngent from India, South Africa, Ireland and Australia to support Namibian bantamweight Jonas Matheus, reports AFP's Charles Irwin.

Italy's Jahyn Parrinello crashes out 18 points to seven at the fast hands Matheus in the first bout of the evening.

2019 GMT: That's the end of the action in the aquatics centre tonight. But here's a tweet from Lochte, who despite having previously lived in the shadow of Phelps has a massive fan base with more than 180,000 followers. He writes: "Thanks to my fans. This gold was for Lochte Nation!! That's what happens when Lochte Nation Unites!"

2013 GMT: Australia's women's team up on the podium now celebrating their relay win. But their star swimmer Stephanie Rice finished a disappointing sixth in the medley earlier in 4:35.49, with British hope and world silver medallist Hannah Miley fifth in 4:34.17.

"I think under the circumstances, it proves I am not fit enough to back up two top-class swims, I didn't really cruise through the heats," says Rice. "I am disappointed, I can't deny that. I put in a solid swim, just the time wasn't good enough."

1958 GMT: Australia won a thrilling women's 4x100m freestyle relay from the fast-finishing Olympic and world champion Dutch team, reports AFP's Robert Smith.

Melanie Schlanger anchored the Aussie win holding off the storming Ranomi Kromowidjojo in a thrilling final lap to hit the wall in 3:33.15 with the Netherlands taking the silver medal in 3:33.79. The United States were third.


1949 GMT: SWIMMING: there's more excitement back in the aquatics centre with the women's 4X100m freestyle relay final -- the USA and Australia battling it out for gold with the American team winning at the halfway mark...

1940 GMT: FENCING: More details on that women's fencing final earlier... Italy's Elisa Di Francisca took gold in the foil, defeating compatriot Arianna Errigo 12-11.

Defending champion Valentina Vezzali of Italy, who was seeking a sixth career gold, settled for bronze, defeating South Korea's Nam Hyun-Hee.

1934 GMT: Reaction now from Lochte after his dramatic win in the 400m medley. "I think I am in shock right now," he says. "Going into these Games I knew I was capable of getting the win. I'm happy that I was able to do that."

Phelps -- winner of eight golds in Beijing -- came fourth with a time of 4:09.28. He says: "It was just a crappy race. I felt fine the first 200 and then I couldn't really go the last 100. They swam a better race than me, they swam a smarter race than me and that is why they are on the podium."

1927 GMT: China's Ye Shiwen claimed an astonishing world record in the women's 400m individual medley, taking a second off Stephanie Rice's record set at Beijing 2008. She's only 16 years old. She came with a withering burst in the penultimate lap to overwhelm American Elizabeth Beisel and claim gold in 4min 28.43 secs.

Beisel took silver ahead of third-placed Li Xuanxu at the Olympic Park's Aquatics Centre in what was a riveting race at the aquatics centre.



1915 GMT: Lots of Tweets congratulating Lochte, including this one from Tennis player Serena Williams: "#USA 1st GOLD courtesy of Ryan Lochte. Congrats. We LOVE you!!!"

1910 GMT: A big grin from Lochte as he receives his medal on the podium and the US national anthem plays -- but no sign of the diamond teeth grill. Rapturous applause from the crowds for the American who celebrates his 28th birthday on August 3.

1905 GMT: Sun Yang becomes the first Chinese man to win an Olympic swimming gold medal with a smashing victory in the 400m freestyle in near world record time.

He had a ding-dong battle with defending champion Park Tae-Hwan before hitting the front at the 350m and going on to win the final in a new Olympic record of 3m 40.14. A jubilant celebration as he emerges from the pool.


1856 GMT: Onto the women's 100m butterfly now -- American world champion Dana Vollmer has swum just 0.3secs outside the world record as the fastest swimmer in the semi-final. Vollmer clocked 56.36secs and looks a big chance of knocking over Swede Sarah Sjostrom's 56.06 world record in the final.

1854 GMT: Some background on the Lochte-Phelps rivalry... six-time Olympic medallist Locthe beat Phelps at the 400m medley at the US trials in June. Lochte also won five gold medals at the Shanghai World Championships last year -- one more than Phelps.

He promised to sport his famous diamond teeth grill on the podium if he won in London.

1847 GMT: An astonishing defeat for 16x Olympic gold medal winner Phelps. It's the first time since his first Olympics in Sydney 12 years ago that he has missed out on an Olympic medal.

1842 GMT: American world champion Lochte blew away the field to win the 400m individual medley gold medal in 4min 05.18secs with defending Olympic champion Phelps missing out on a medal in fourth place, reports AFP's Robert Smith from the Aquatics Centre. Lochte finished more than four seconds ahead of the struggling Phelps in lane eight.

Brazil's Thiago Pereira took silver while Japan's Kosuke Hagino finished third at the Olympic Park's Aquatics Centre.

1837 GMT: LOCHTE WINS 400M MEDLEY GOLD. Phelps in fourth.

1835 GMT: Lochte in the lead on the backstroke leg. He's world champion in this stroke... we're halfway and Lochte is well ahead...

1833 GMT: Lochte turns first after the first 50m, then Phelps...

1831 GMT: SWIMMING: Phelps, Lochte and others gearing up now for the 400m medley... and we're off....

1827 GMT: BASKETBALL: The US team of Women's NBA -- unbeaten since the 1992 Olympic semi-finals -- have defeated Croatia 81-56 in their bid for a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal. Tina Charles scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Angel McCoughtry added 13 points and Candace Parker contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds to lead a victory in which every American scored.

1820 GMT: JUDO: Some reaction from Menezes after her historic gold in the judo earlier -- the first ever in the sport from a Brazilian woman. She says: "It's really very, very important because it took many years to happen. Now I hope that my medal can open up the way for many more.

"What's changed is that we've developed the belief that we can win because everyone is strong. We've stopped doubting ourselves and now we know we can beat anyone, and that's the key. Now we can aim for the top of the top and all seven fighters can win medals."

1815 GMT: SWIMMING: In case you missed it earlier, US star swimmer Phelps got off to a shaky start after finishing eighth in the 400m medley final which gets under way in just 15 minutes -- a hotly anticipated showdown between Phelps and teammate Ryan Lochte.

Former British Butterfly swimmer Steve Parry tweets: "Lochte v Phelps 730pm... My heart says the Champ Phelps my head tells me the Lochte will be too strong... Watch Lochte v Phelps 730pm... ". Watch this space at 1830 GMT...

1800 GMT: We'll be continuing our live coverage of today's events until 2200 GMT -- including the first swimming medal events -- but here's a quick recap of what's happened so far today:

+ Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan claimed an unexpected but deserved win in the men's cycling road race, wrecking Mark Cavendish's hopes of delivering a first gold of the Games for the hosts. Colombia's Rigoberto Uran won the silver with Norway's Alexander Kristoff taking the bronze.

+ Shooting powerhouse China launched their Olympic campaign in style when Yi Siling took the first gold of the London Games in the women's 10m air rifle competition. Meanwhile South Korea's Jin Jong-Oh survived a late attack of nerves to win in the men's 10m air pistol match.

+ Sarah Menezes made history by becoming the first Brazilian woman to win an Olympic judo gold medal when she triumphed in the under-48kg category, dethroning reigning champion Alina Dumitru of Romania. Hungarian fighter Eva Csernoviczki bounced back from being strangled unconscious to claim bronze.

1745 GMT: SWIMMING: Altogether a disastrous day for Germany in the swimming... world record-holder Paul Biedermann is shut out of the 400m freestyle final after coming 12th, while the women's 4x100m freestyle relay team was eliminated after getting the ninth fastest time -- despite having 100m freestyle world record-holder Britta Steffen on their side.

Germany's performance director Lutz Buschkow admits: "It was a very dark day."

1738 GMT: Italy's archery men's team defeat the United States in the final by 219 to 218 points. Defending champions South Korea, who set a new world record in Friday's qualifying, settle for bronze by beating Mexico.


1725 GMT: BEACH VOLLEYBALL: More good news for Brazil as their women's team comfortably beats Maritius at London's Horse Guards Parade where huge crowds appeared to be enjoying a party atmosphere at the preliminary matches. Meanwhile Britain's men were defeated by Canada.

Much enthusiasm for the events on Twitter. Spectator Elle Di Emme tweets: "What a venue for a beach! Big crowds enjoying in central London at Horse Guards Parade."

1711 GMT: TENNIS: Serena Williams, who clinched her place in the second round earlier, said seeing Michelle Obama in the crowd gave her an extra boost. The US First saluted Serena's victory with a thumbs-up!

"It was great seeing Michelle there," she said. "It just made me want to play better and I felt even better. We're here for our country and to play well. I love Michelle. She's so cool. I met her several times. I gave her a thumbs up just to acknowledge that I knew she was here."

1705 GMT: CHINA'S WANG WINS WOMEN'S 48kg WEIGHTLIFTING GOLD. Wang Mingjuan, who has an incredible 10-year unbeaten record, made a rushed first snatch at 88kg that saw the barbells come crashing to the ground to gasps from fans at the ExCel arena. But the 26-year-old nailed her second effort with almost military precision.

In the men's competition meanwhile, the IOC kicked Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku out of the Games earlier after testing positive for a banned steroid.

1654 GMT: TENNIS: Kim Clijsters says she's got the Olympic bug after romping to a 6-1, 6-4 win over Italy's Roberta Vinci in round one of the women's tennis at Wimbledon. The former world number one brushed aside world number 27 Vinci in just 61 minutes to secure a clash against Australian fifth seed Sam Stosur or Carla Navarro Suarez of Spain.

Speaking of her first Olympics experience -- having not played at Beijing -- she said: "It's like a virus, it spreads. When you see all the other athletes from your country and the people who follow it, it's hard not to get into it."

1647 GMT: CYCLING: More from Britain's Cavendish after defeat in the road race which he had been widely tipped to win. He writes on Twitter: "Gutted. After 250km, less than a minute to 20guys. My guys were INCREDIBLE and there was nothing more we could do. Victims of our own success."

1637 GMT: BOXING: Along with the Judo, London's ExCel centre has been hosting the first 32 rounds of the Bantam weight and middle weight boxing today. Britain's Anthony Ogogo dedicated his opening victory earlier to his mother, recovering from a brain haemorrhage.

After a 13-6 first round win over Dominican Republic opponent Junior Castillo Martinez, he said: "This one is for my mum. She had a brain haemorrhage six weeks ago and she is still in bed, so I don't think she would have watched the bout but I can't wait to ring her." One of his sisters is also due to go into labour today he added!

1623 GMT: FOOTBALL: Looks like a good day for Brazil's women. After a gold medal from Menezes in the judo, the country's women's football team kept their bid for gold on track as they beat New Zealand 1-0 in Cardiff.

Victory meant the Samba Queens, silver medallists at the last two Olympics, made it two wins out of two after thrashing Cameroon 5-0 -- albeit in a more gruelling match against the Kiwis.

1612 GMT: TENNIS: Roger Federer kicks off his bid for Olympic gold with a hard-fought 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over Colombia's Alejandro Falla. But it wasn't plain sailing for the world number one.

Falla, ranked 51st in the world, had Federer on the ropes for a while at the end of the second set and the start of the third before the Swiss great finally found enough momentum to scrape through in one hour and 47 minutes. He now faces France's Julien Benneteau for a place in the last 16.

1557 GMT: CYCLING: More reaction now on the shock result in the men's cycling road race earlier... Britain's Bradley Wiggins voices his disappointment on Twitter after the team failed to make the podium. He writes: "Well we did everything we could as a team, gutted for Cav and sad to see Fabian out."

Cavendish was philosophical in defeat when he spoke to journalists after the race. "There was a group of 22 who got away and we couldn't pull them back," he said, before praising the efforts of his team-mates.

"I can be proud of how the lads rode today. I'm proud of my country as there was incredible support. The guys are sat there, they are spent. They have got nothing left in the tank. It's incredible to see that."

1551 GMT: TENNIS: More disappointment for China as Li Na crashes out of the Olympic tournament in the first round. The world number 11 was beaten 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 by Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova at Wimbledon.

Li, 30, had been China's best hope of taking a medal in the singles, but the ex-French Open champion struggled to find any momentum against big-hitting Hantuchova and was knocked out in one hour and 42 minutes. She made 24 unforced errors and served five double-faults.

1541 GMT: JUDO: Galstyan's win in the under-60g competition was an upset the top two seeds at London's ExCel centre. The fourth seed produced a stunning finale to flatten Japan's second seed Hiroaki Hiraoka just 40 seconds into the final with a sweeping, winding throw.

World champion Rishod Sobirov meanwhile won a second straight bronze medal as he beat France's Sofiane Milous while Brazilian Felipe Kitadai beat Italy's Elio Verde for the other bronze.


1533 GMT: BRAZILIAN MENEZES WINS WOMEN'S JUDO UNDER-48kg GOLD. Reigning champion Alina Dumitru of Romania takes silver.

1530 GMT: JUDO: Hungarian fighter Eva Csernoviczki bounces back from being strangled unconscious to claim an unlikely bronze medal in the women's under-48kg Olympic judo competition.

Csernoviczki was earlier rendered unconscious as she tried to resist a strangle in her quarter-final loss to Belgium's Charline van Snick.

But after a quick recovery she was given a second medal chance in the repechage. She beat China's Wu Shugen and then stunned world number one Tomoko Fukumi with a foot sweep in a sudden death golden score period to earn a podium finish.

1519 GMT: SHOOTING GOLD MEDAL: While the tense road cycling race came to an end in central London the first day of men's shooting action at London's Royal Artillery Barracks yielded a gold medal for South Korean sharpshooter Jin Jong-Oh in the Olympic men's 10m air pistol.

Italy's Luca Tesconi made a brave attempt to close a seemingly impregnable gap to Jin at one stage in the final to secure silver, 2.4 points behind the winner, while Serbia's Andrija Zlatic won bronze.

World number two Jin, 32, came into the afternoon final with a significant gap of two points over China's defending champion Pang Wei -- but Pang immediately lost ground to his Korean rival, making his task even harder.

But after looking a certainty for gold with some consistent shooting, Jin faltered, allowing Tesconi to close the gap and retain an interest in the title going into the final shot.

1509 GMT: I'm handing over to my colleague Ruth Holmes, who will let you know what else has been happening while we were all agog with the men's cycling road race! Stay tuned for events including swimming finals later today.

1506 GMT: Reigning Olympic champion Park Tae-Hwan of South Korea has regained his place in the 400m swimming freestyle.

South Korea had appealed after he was ousted for a false start after finishing first in his heat.


1500 GMT: A spot of background on men's cycling road race gold medallist Alexandre Vinokourov.

He returned to competitive cycling in 2010 after a two-year doping ban, having tested positive for banned substances in the 2007 Tour de France.

He has always insisted he was innocent and at the time said he'd retire from cycling, but returned to play for the Astana team.

After breaking his right femur in the 2011 Tour de France and having surgery, he said once again that he was retiring -- but is probably quite glad right now that he got back on the road.

1459 GMT: Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt tweets: "Congratulations to Kazakhstan. @TeamGB road cycling team gave everything they had left from #tdf (Tour de France) but wasn't enough to deliver a medal today."

1455 GMT: Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan says "unbelievable" -- and repeats it several times. He won't be the only one feeling that way.

"Today's race was unbelievable, too much people, dangerous, up, down, up down... I had a good jump with Uran... Unbelievable victory," says Vinokourov, still tearful and no doubt pretty tired as well.

1450 GMT: Tears from Vinokourov after his nail-biting victory.

1449 GMT: So here we have it -- in the men's cycling road race:

Gold: Alexandre Vinokourov, Kazakhstan

Silver: Rigoberto Uran, Colombia

Bronze: Alexander Kristoff, Norway

1446 GMT: Vinokourov won the silver in Sydney in 2000 and now he's gone one better. What a moment for Kazakhstan.


1440 GMT: And we're on the Mall and into the finishing sprint. Uran looks over his shoulder and Vinokourov escapes ahead! He's got it!

1445 GMT: One kilometre to go... Uran pulling ahead again.

1443 GMT: Uran inches ahead. Only two kilometres to go.

1439 GMT: Vinokourov pulls ahead as the pair swing into Knightsbridge. For those just joining us now -- it's the concluding stages of the men's road race and we look set for a shock result...

1438 GMT: The two out front are Colombia's Rigoberto Uran and Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov. The home team fading into the distance. Less than 8km to go.

1436 GMT: "Official time gap is 56 seconds and if that is true then it's game over for Team GB," tweets British Cycling. An admission of defeat!

1435 GMT: Cancellara rides on but seems to be in pain from his injured arm.

Sympathy from many -- British ex-rower and broadcaster Matthew Pinsent tweets: " Every west London cyclist knows that corner by Kingston Gate."

1430 GMT: A crash -- at least one cyclist hits the barriers after Lars-Petter Nordhaug of Norway attacks the lead group.

It looks to have been Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara! His right arm looks injured. He's now being passed by the peloton.

A bad moment for the Olympic champion.

1424 GMT: Our cycling reporter Justin Davis says that fans waiting for a first British cycling gold of the Games are looking despondent on the finish line of The Mall after learning that those late escapees in the men's road race have taken a 53-sec lead on the British team, led by sprint king and gold favourite Mark Cavendish.

The 32-man group attacked after Britain had worked hard to reel in an earlier escape attempt by Belgian Philippe Gilbert.

With 19 km to race in the 249.5 km race the leaders have a lead of 51sec.

1423 GMT: The gap between that breakaway group and the rest is narrowing as they approach Richmond Park -- about 51 seconds now.

1422 GMT: Wayne Rooney is watching the cycling, and tweets: "These cyclists must be super fit. Come on GB".

1418 GMT: There's a 57-second gap between the leading group and the rest.

Switzerland's Michael Schar is at the front of the narrowing line.

1415 GMT: The CYCLING men's road race is getting tense.

"This is really in the balance now. GB are going to have to commit everything to bring this back now," tweets British Cycling, which is trying to win the gold for Mark Cavendish.

"28km to go. Big, powerful group of about 30 riders is 58 seconds clear of bunch. GB and Germany only countries chasing."

1411 GMT: About 300 people have been protesting over the Olympics in east London -- not against the sports, but to oppose corporate sponsorship and security measures like missiles on residential buildings, the BBC reports.

It looks like a peaceful protest, but one unlikely to have a big impact as millions of Britons turn out to watch the show.

1410 GMT: TENNIS: "Very big cheers as Roger Federer strides onto Centre Court in red," reports the official Wimbledon Twitter account.

It is only three weeks after Federer won Wimbledon for a record-equalling seventh time. Now he is favourite to win the Olympic title for Switzerland and faces Colombia's Alejandro Falla in the first round.

Women's Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has swept into the second round of the Olympic tournament with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Serbia's Jelena Jankovic.

1405 GMT JUDO: There has been a heart-stopping moment in the women's judo today -- a Hungarian fighter was actually strangled unconscious.

"Belgium's Charline van Snick strangled Hungary's Eva Csernoviski unconscious there," tweeted our reporter, judo black belt Barnaby Chesterman.

Csernoviski was trying to resist a strangle when she passed out and collapsed to the mat.

The referee immediately stopped the bout, awarding it to van Snick, and a medic was called but the Hungarian quickly recovered.

1400 GMT: ROWING: New Zealand's Hamish Bond and Eric Murray have set a new men's pairs rowing world record in the Olympic heats, smashing the mark held by Britain's Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.

The multiple world champions timed 6min 8.50sec on the first day of competition, almost six seconds quicker than the 10-year-old record set at the 2002 world championships.

"Six seconds, wow," said Bond, after the event held at Eton Dorney to the west of London.

"It's a great confidence boost to the whole team, I mean if they can beat it by six seconds, then everything has the potential to be much closer than we thought."

The duo, who are unbeaten since teaming up in 2009, are now safely into the semi-finals.

1355 GMT: Last lap now for the cyclists! Belgians may be tempted to get excited as Philippe Gilbert opens up a significant gap on the rest of the field.

They have all just passed the top of Box Hill for the final time. Some 45km now back to the Mall in central London.

1350 GMT: CYCLING: Only an hour or so to go in the men's cycling road race, and excitement is building among the huge crowds along the route -- Britain has been struck with cycling fever since Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France triumph less than a week ago.

1345 GMT: FOOTBALL: Japan's women's footballers -- who are bidding to add Olympic gold to their last year's World cup title -- have been held to a goalless draw by Sweden in their second group match.

Both sides came into the Group F clash on the back of wins, with Japan having defeated Canada 2-1 in their opener and Sweden thrashing South Africa 4-1.

Reigning Olympic champions the United States face Colombia later today having had to come from two goals down to beat France 4-2 in their opener.

1340 GMT: Saudi commentators have hailed the inclusion of women in their Olympic team for the first time, after two female Saudi athletes appeared at last night's opening ceremony, reports our Riyadh bureau.

"The kingdom is shining with its sons and daughters in London," tweeted columnist Jamal Khashogg, while female journalist Haifa al-Zahrani said: "Finally, the Saudi team has men and women."

But others lamented the fact that the women had to walk behind the men from the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom during the opening ceremony.

"Saudi Arabia will remain in the back seat as long as its women are in the back seat," wrote activist Manal al-Sharif.

1330 GMT: CYCLING: Tour de France champion Brad Wiggins continues to play a pivotal role for British teammate Mark Cavendish in the road race as they chased down a breakaway that threatens Cavendish's bid for gold, reports AFP's Justin Davis.

With 80 km and two climbs of Box Hill remaining, Cavendish's British team have a deficit of 1:24 to a leading group of 11 riders, with another counter-attacking group stuck in between.

At the finish line on The Mall, meanwhile, fans from several countries -- some wearing masks of world champion Cavendish and brandishing flags from his native Isle of Man -- were being treated to music played by the military band from the Coldstream Guards.

1327 GMT: Australian world record-holder Stephanie Rice tweets: "So excited to be representing Australia tonight in the 400IM final. Fast swims this morning!! Thanks for the amazing support xxxx much love."

1320 GMT: SWIMMING: German world record-holder Paul Biedermann is downcast after failing to make the 400m freestyle final -- just as his nation's women's relay team was eliminated.

He mustered just the 12th-fastest time in the heats led by China's Sun Yang.

"I'm obviously disappointed and now need some time to collect myself," he said.

"It was not so good. I wanted to lead from the front, which had worked well, but I just could not hold back on to it."

1257 GMT: GYMNASTICS: Hosts Britain may be facing a challenge in the cycling today but they've unexpectedly eclipsed China in gymnastics.

As the artistic gymnastics qualifying began, China's men were below par and finished with a score of 269.985 points to Britain's 272.420.

Guo Weiyang and Zhang Chenglong both fell from the pommel horse and Guo's floor display proved unconvincing, while Britain were solid throughout, with Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis topping the individual all-around standings.

Great Britain aren't known for their prowess in this area -- it's the first time their men have qualified for an Olympic final since 1924.

1250 GMT: CYCLING: AFP's Justin Davis reports that a number of determined rivals are testing Britain's determination to deliver Mark Cavendish to a gold medal-winning sprint finish in the men's road race.

Britain earlier had to seek help from rivals Germany as they continued to chase down an early breakaway that built a dangerous lead of six minutes.

But on the fourth of nine climbs of Box Hill the hosts faced more problems as a 10-man counter-attacking group escaped the peloton -- so the Brits have had to redouble their efforts.

With four of the nine laps to race in the 249.5 km race the 12-man morning breakaway had a lead of two minutes on the peloton and 1min 30sec on the counter-attack group.

Here's a rundown of the counter-attackers: they are Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Gregory Rast (Switzerland), Andriy Grivko (Ukraine), Lars Boom (Netherlands), Luca Paolini (Italy), Sylvain Chavanel (France), Jack Bauer (New Zealand), Jakob Fuglsang (Denmark) and Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic).

1240 GMT: Queen Elizabeth II visits athletes from Team GB at the Olympic Park. They applaud and whistle in appreciation -- she has her normal dignified demeanour but has clearly scored a hit with her James Bond cameo in the opening ceremony.

1215 GMT: A bit of a lunchtime lull now -- though not for the cyclists, of course, with hours of the road race yet to go...

Surrey Police have tweeted a request for the wildly enthusiastic crowds to be careful to keep clear of the riders.

"You don't want to be responsible for Mark Cavendish falling off!" they point out.

1148 GMT: The swimming heats are now over, paving the way for finals this evening.

Meanwhile US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been spotted among spectators at the Olympic Park -- let's hope he makes more friends than earlier in the week, when Britons were offended by his seeming scepticism about whether they could pull off a successful Olympics. He has since backtracked.

1143 GMT: South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, an amputee who will be running in this Olympics (as well as the Paralympics) on high-tech blades, tells British 400m runner Martyn Rooney on Twitter that the opening ceremony "was amazing bud! You Brits know how to (throw) a ceremony!"

1141 GMT: SWIMMING: Japan's Kosuke Kitajima, going for a third straight Olympic breaststroke double, is pipped by one-hundredth of a second in his opening heat of the 100 metres event.

Australian Christian Sprenger edges Kitajima with a time of 59.62 seconds, becoming the fastest qualifier heading into the semi-finals of the event later on today.

1139 GMT: There's no race radio in this cycling competition, so a heavily biased crowd is shouting to Team GB their time difference from the breakaway group at the front, in a bid to help out.

1135 GMT: Our cycling-watcher Justin Davis reports that Mark Cavendish's bid for Olympic road race gold is still on course, despite pressure on the Tour de France star's British team early in the race as the 12-man breakaway built a lead of nearly six minutes on the peloton, including Cavendish.

Thousands of fans are lining the roads of the hilly Box Hill circuit that will be raced a total of nine times before the peloton brings the 249.5 km race to a climax on flat finish of The Mall within sight of Buckingham Palace.

With 130 km remaining Cavendish's British team, helped by Germany, have a deficit of just over five minutes on the 12 leaders.

1125 GMT: Australia's Michael Rogers sets off in pursuit of the breakaway group in the cycling road race.

Countries that have riders in that group may have an advantage later on as they can help compatriots get ahead.

1120 GMT: "The Queen came to visit us just now at the village. Nice surprise:) mass hysteria in the lunch room!" tweets Indian tennis doubles contender Mahesh Bhupathi.

1115 GMT: CYCLING: A mixed-nationality group of 12 cyclists, not including any from favourites Britain, have broken away from the peloton.

The Britons, trying to help Mark Cavendish claim a home gold, now face a deficit of more than five minutes.

1100 GMT: Here's a recap of the day's main events so far:

+ Swimming legend Michael Phelps suffered a nervy start to the Games, scraping into Saturday's 400m individual medley final in eighth and last spot in his heat in a leisurely 4min 13.33sec.

+ Chinese world number one shooter Yi Siling claimed the first of the Games' 302 golds at the Royal Artillery Barracks in the women's 10m air rifle.

+ The men's 250km road race got underway, with Britain's Mark Cavendish the favourite. Stay tuned for the sprint finish around 1430 GMT.

+ Reigning Olympic champion Park Tae-Hwan of South Korea was disqualified in the 400m swimming freestyle for a false start after finishing first in his heat.

+ Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku became the Games' first doping casualty, testing positive for the banned steroid stanozolol. He has been suspended from the contest.

1059 GMT: More news from poolside, this time on the women's swimming. AFP's Rob Smith reports that American world champion Elizabeth Beisel topped the qualifiers into the women's 400m individual medley final with a best time of 4min 31.68 secs. Australia's defending Olympic champion Stephanie Rice was seventh best.

1050 GMT: SWIMMING: South Korea's Olympic and world champion Park Tae-Hwan speaks briefly to reporters from his home country after his disqualification.

Sounding stunned, he says: " I don't know what happened -- I need to speak to my coach to find out."

Hannah Miley meanwhile sends the British home crowd wild when she downs Australian defending Olympic champion Stephanie Rice in her heat of the womens 400m individual medley.

Miley clocked 4min 34.98 secs and finished a comfortable 0.78secs ahead of the Aussie.

1035 GMT: WEIGHTLIFTING: Albanian lifter Hysen Pulaku has been excluded from the Games for doping, says the International Olympic Committee.

"Hysen Pulaku, 20, tested positive on 23 July for stanozolol," their statement said.

That's a synthetic anabolic steroid that has cropped up in numerous doping cases.

1034 GMT: Yi's triumph will warm Chinese hearts, although the team has played down suggestions they may top the gold medal tally again this year.

Still in the women's 10m air rifle shooting, Malaysian mum-to-be Nur Suryani Mohamad Taibi earlier failed to make the final.

She's due to give birth in September, but said her baby's kicks hadn't distracted her.

"It's a dream come true taking part in the Olympics," said the Malaysian.

1029 GMT: A nice moment for the Chinese! Yi Siling takes gold in the women's 10m air rifle, coming in ahead of Poland's Sylwia Bogacka, who takes silver.

Another Chinese shooter, Yu Dan, takes the bronze.


1019 GMT: Park's disqualification leaves China's Sun Yang leading the way into the final.

Dismay from South Korean fans on Twitter (they had a much better day yesterday with their archer's world record).

"I am really depressed," tweets one fan, using the name sunskyivee.

1014 GMT: A shocking start to the opening day of swimming at the Olympics as Park Tae-Hwan is disqualified from the 400 metres freestyle.

A spokesman for swimming's governing body FINA says he was disqualified for a false start, reports Rob Smith, our man at the aquatic stadium.

1011 GMT: South Korea's Olympic and world champion Park Tae-Hwan has been sensationally disqualified after winning his heat of the 400 metres freestyle, says our reporter Rob Smith.

More on that shortly...

1010 GMT: After narrowly making it into the 400m medley final, SWIMMING superstar Michael Phelps tells reporters: "I was slower here this morning than I was four years ago, but you can't win the medal from the heats."

0955 GMT: Over at the JUDO, world champion Rishod Sobirov is in impressive form, beginning his Olympic quest in the men's under-60kg, reports our own Barnaby Chesterman -- himself a judo black belt!

The Uzbek, a bronze medallist in Beijing, dominated ex-European champion Ludwig Paischer of Austria in his opening bout, says Barnaby.

Sobirov felled the former world and Olympic finallist with a dropping shoulder throw, scoring a waza-ari half point, before finishing him off by pinning him to the mat.

His main rival, the world number two from Japan Hiroaki Hiraoka, was also in fine form as he beat Britain's Ashley McKenzie with a similar dropping shoulder throw (seoi-nage).

0950 GMT: American world champion Dana Vollmer clocked an Olympic record of 56.25 seconds in finishing the fastest heat qualifier in the women's 100 metres butterfly.

0948 GMT: British swimming medal hope Francesca Halsall got a huge roar from her home crowd when she finished second to Australian Alicia Coutts in her heat of the 100 metres butterfly, our correspondent Rob Smith reports.

0945 GMT: SWIMMING: More details now on that men's 400m individual medley heat, in which reigning Olympic champion Michael Phelps reached the final by the skin of his teeth -- nabbing the eighth and last spot.

Phelps won his heat in 4min 13.33sec, but the leisurely pace of that race saw second-place finisher Laszlo Cseh of Hungary -- a medallist at the last two Games, shut out of the final.

Japan's Kosuke Hagino led the way into the final with a time of 4:10.01, followed by South African Chad le Clos and American Ryan Lochte, who was runner-up to le Clos in the final heat.

0939 GMT: Queen Elizabeth II has arrived at the Olympic Park, while her son Prince Charles -- the heir to the throne -- was at the start of the men's cycling road race to greet the peloton with his wife Camilla earlier.

The queen is being greeted by London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe and a cheering crowd.

Her appearance in the opening ceremony last night -- acting in a spoof James Bond sequence -- was a huge hit with locals.

The 86-year-old monarch stopped short of performing her own stunts -- it's believed a double performed her parachute sequence into the Olympic stadium.

Today she's arrived, more sedately, by car. Dressed in bright blue, she's now visiting the Orbit tower on the Olympic site.

0930 GMT: Team USA's other big swimming hope, Ryan Lochte, is also into the final although he didn't win his heat, the team says on Twitter.

"Lochte and Phelps both make it into finals -- Lochte is the third seed in 4:12.35; Phelps 8th in 4:13.33," USA Swimming says.

Lochte also came in ahead of Phelps -- who has 16 career medals including 14 golds -- in the US trials.

0925 GMT: "Phelps does just enough to get his hand on the wall first in his heat," says the US swimming team's official Twitter feed.

0920 GMT: And Phelps is in the water!

Michael Phelps touched out Hungarian rival Laszlo Cseh by seven-hundredths of a second in his first swim at the London Olympics in the heats of the 400 metres individual medley, reports Rob Smith.

The 14-time Olympic gold medallist reeled in Cseh in the final freestyle lap in a leisurely time of 4 minutes 13.33 seconds.

0906 GMT: Over to the SWIMMING for a moment, and our reporter Rebecca Bryan reports a "festival of camera-phone photography" from excited spectators flooding into the Olympic venues.

"Lively crowd on the way into the Aquatics Centre this morning for the first day of swimming competition," she says.

"Countdown on for Michael Phelps!"

In the opening heat of the men's 400 metres individual medley at the Aquatic Centre, reports our sports correspondent Robert Smith, Qatari Ahmed Atari got the biggest cheer from the crowd when he trailed in a full minute behind the winner.

0902 GMT: Honks and cheers from the crowds as the men's cycling road race gets going at a steady pace.

The home favourite, Isle of Man rider Mark Cavendish, is supported by David Millar, Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Ian Stannard, the national champion.

But a host of other cyclists are plotting to stop Britain getting its dream Olympic start.

Australia's Matt Goss and Peter Sagan of Slovakia are among them, along with German sprinter Andre Greipel.

But teams like Spain and Italy will be looking to avoid a bunch sprint, while the US team is said to be looking to break the race up on Box Hill.

"Britain have an incredibly strong team, with one of the strongest (riders) in the race," said American sprint specialist Tyler Farrar ahead of today's race.

"(But) I don't think the medals have been decided just yet."

0900 GMT: And after a loud ten-second countdown by the crowd, we're off! Cyclists are speeding past Buckingham Palace, cheered on by crowds of thousands.

0856 GMT: CYCLING: The riders are massed on the Mall in central London for the start of the men's road race. A nervous moment.

0850 GMT: The BBC is reporting that almost 27 million people watched last night's opening ceremony. That's almost half the population of Britain.

But several bookmakers, who had been taking bets for the past seven years on who would light the Olympic cauldron, are now refunding them all after it was lit by seven little-known young athletes, teamed up with some of the country's top Olympians.

There had been a flurry of earlier bets on the likes of David Beckham, Steve Redgrave and Roger Bannister.

"What happened, no-one could have predicted," said Graham Sharpe, of bookmakers William Hill.

0840 GMT: If he's successful today, Mark Cavendish will succeed Spain's Samuel Sanchez to become Britain's first Olympic men's road race champion.

Among his big challengers will be Slovakian Peter Sagan, Australian Matt Goss, Belgians Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen, Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez, Swiss Fabian Cancellara and German Andre Greipel.

The nine stages of the circuit include a climb up Box Hill. There are glimmers of sunshine emerging through the cloud that blanketed London this morning, but the cyclists are probably hoping cooler temperatures continue.

0820 GMT: Crowds are massing outside Buckingham Palace in central London ahead of the start of the 250km men's cycling road race.

An audience of a million is expected for the race between 150 riders, culminating in a sprint finish around 1430 GMT.

"En route to the Mall... In less than 2 hours we'll be riding the Olympic Road Race," tweeted home favourite Mark Cavendish earlier, complete with a photo of anxious-looking athletes in a minibus.

0815 GMT: Some upcoming highlights for today:

+ Michael Phelps chases a 17th career medal in the 400m individual medley (swimming heats start 0900 GMT, finals 1830 GMT)

+ Mark Cavendish aims to give hosts first gold of the Games in the men's road race (starts 0900 GMT)

+ China could secure first gold of the Games when shooter Yi Siling starts as favourite in the women's 10m Air Rifle (starts 0715 GMT)

+ Roger Federer and Serena Williams start their tennis campaigns at the All England Club (starts 1030 GMT)

+ Legally blind archer Im Dong-Hyun, who set the first world record of the Olympics on Friday, targets gold (starts 0800 GMT)

0805 GMT: The first 12 gold medals of the Games are available today, with Britain's Mark Cavendish the favourite in the men's cycling road race starting at 0900 GMT.

Home fans are hoping he'll bring Britain more cycling glory after Bradley Wiggins' unprecedented Tour de France victory.

Stand by for a run-down of today's main events...

0800 GMT: Last night's opening ceremony, put together by the "Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle, seems to be getting rave reviews -- even if some parts of it met with incomprehension outside Britain.

The New York Times calls it "a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful" while French sports daily L'Equipe thought it was "unusually bold, poetic and funny".

Britain's press reacted ecstatically. "Brilliant, breathtaking, bonkers and utterly British," said the Daily Telegraph this morning.

The acting debut of the 86-year-old queen, who greeted James Bond in her palace with the words "Good evening, Mr Bond," has met with special acclaim.

WELCOME TO AFP's LIVE REPORT on the first full day of action at the London 2012 Olympics, after an eccentric opening ceremony that displayed Britain's rich history, music and sense of fun, starring James Bond, David Beckham and Queen Elizabeth II.

Today's events have already begun, with shooting at the Royal Artillery Barracks from 0715 GMT. The highlight of the day is set to be the men's cycling road race, while tennis begins in Wimbledon and there's also a full programme of swimming and volleyball. We'll give you a run-down of upcoming events to look out for shortly.