3 British athletes to watch out for this Olympics weekend

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The Olympics is finally underway in Rio and it’s fair to say that the build up has been relatively quiet from a British perspective.

This could easily change with some strong early performances. Here are three Brits to watch on the opening weekend of action:

Lizzie Armitstead – Cycling women’s road race

Armitstead’s build up to the Games has revolved missing three drugs tests, avoiding a two-year suspension only due to having the first of these tests chalked off.

This has kept her in the public spotlight more than most, as she attempts to improve upon finishing second in the women’s road race from the 2012 Olympics, which was Great Britain’s first medal in London.

Armitstead has since become world champion thanks to winning in Virginia last autumn and has six victories on her resume already in 2016. Her chances of gold on Sunday August 7th will largely hinge on how well she handles the late 8.9km climb on the Copacabana course, which isn’t typically her strongest suit.

Adam Peaty – Swimming men’s 100m breaststroke

Peaty is the event’s world record holder, becoming the first man to dip under 58secs when clocking 57.92 at the British Championships last year. He is responsible for six of the 10 quickest times in history.

Pacing himself will be vital for the 21-year-old, with the heats and semi-finals for 100m breaststroke taking place on Saturday August 6th and the final on the following day.

An Olympic gold is the only thing missing from his CV, especially after Peaty’s collection of three podium-topping finishes at the world championships last year in Russia.

Galal Yafei – Boxing men’s light flyweight

The preliminary rounds for the Birmingham boxer’s weight class begin on Saturday, with Yafei’s first challenge coming against Cameroon’s Simplice Fotsala.

Cuba’s Joahnys Argilagos is already confirmed as the winner’s last-16 opponent, with the world champion defeating Yafei over five rounds earlier this year.

Yafei has two older brothers that box professionally, with the eldest, Kal, reaching the last-16 at the 2012 Olympics before suffering defeat at the hands of a Cuban, while Gamal is the current Commonwealth super bantamweight champion.

Ladbrokes is not an official sponsor of the Olympics and is no way affiliated with any of the competing athletes, events or competitions being held in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.