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London 2012 Olympics Preview: Track And Field Events Begin

USA Track and Field kicks off its quest for gold with preliminary and qualifying rounds taking place on Friday. Former Arizona State six-time national champion Ryan Whiting competes in the Shot Put qualifying round beginning at 2:00 a.m. PT. Whiting earned his first Olympic berth after finishing second in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Phoenix-native Will Claye also competes in the Long Jump qualifying round beginning at 11:50 a.m.. Claye will also compete in the Triple Jump next Tuesday; he is one of the five Team USA Track and Field athletes competing in two events in London.

Other Olympic events of interest taking place on Friday include the the women's 200 backstroke final featuring Team USA's teenage phenom Missy Franklin at 11:30 a.m. PT, the men's 100 butterfly final featuring world-record holder Michael Phelps at 11:37 a.m. PT, women's volleyball against Serbia at noon, and women's basketball against the Czech Republic at 2:15 p.m. PT.

You can find a complete medal tracker at SI.com.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub. For more on Olympic Track and Field, follow the 2012 Olympic Track and Field section.