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London 2012
China dominates Olympic opening day
Shooter, weightlifter and two swimmers capture gold medals as two-week sporting festival gets under way in London.
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2012 20:53
The Olympic cauldron was set alight during an extravagant opening ceremony showcasing British culture [Reuters]

The London Olympics has moved into competition mode to award the first gold medals and announce its first doping case, a day after a stunning opening ceremony.

British Queen Elizabeth II toured the Olympic Park as Chinese shooter Yi Siling captured the first gold of the Games in the women's 10-metre air rifle on Saturday.

 

Later in the day, China grabbed three more golds, two of them in swimming.Ye Shiwen broke the women's 400m medley world record and Sun Yang became the first Chinese man to get an Olympic swimming title as he won the men's 400m freestyle.  

Wang Mingjuan extended a 10-year unbeaten international record to win gold in the first women's weightlifting event of the Games.

On the negative, the International Olympic Committee banned Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku after he tested positive for a banned steroid, stanozolol, on July 23.

'Breathtaking and bonkers'

On Friday night, the British monarch was one of the hits of the opening ceremony that was heralded in the local media as "breathtaking and bonkers".

The queen provided the highlight of the four-hour show directed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, a tribute to British film, music and history. With film trickery, Boyle made it seem that Britain's 86-year-old monarch parachuted into the stadium with James Bond star Daniel Craig.

London mayor Boris Johnson said the ceremony, featuring about 10,000 performers, was "stupefying".

"The big anxiety we had was, could we do something that would rival Beijing," Johnson said. "I think we knocked the spots off it."

The cycling road race got under way Saturday morning and, with it, Britain's best chance for an early gold medal that would extend the national celebration.

Mark Cavendish, riding alongside fellow Briton and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, was among the starters for the 250-kilometre race which passed some of London's most iconic landmarks and out into the Surrey countryside southwest of London. Huge crowds lined the course.

After Prince Charles was introduced to the British team, the race started on a processional pace from the Mall, near Buckingham Palace with the peloton heading southwest through the city.

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