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What's happening, and when

2004 Olympics | From air rifle competitions to the men's 4x400-meter relay, opportunities for medals abound. Following the opening ceremonies on Aug. 13, here's a day-by-day guide some to of the events:

Issue: "2004 Olympics Preview," Aug. 14, 2004

Day 1: Saturday, Aug. 14

Highlights: The first few days of the Olympics belong to swimming. Female swimmers will race in the 400-meter individual medley finals and the 4x100-meter freestyle relay finals. Shooting enthusiasts can tune in to the women's air rifle gold medal competition.

U.S. hopefuls: Baltimore swimming phenom Michael Phelps could deliver the first gold medal for the United States. Mr. Phelps races for gold in the 400-meter individual medley finals during prime time on NBC. Katie Hoff, 15, could medal in the same race for females, and Klete Keller has an outside shot at a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle.

Day 2: Sunday, Aug. 15

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Highlights: Women swim the 400-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly while the men race in the 4x100-meter relay finals. The United States takes on Puerto Rico in men's basketball, and Costa Rica will play the newly reformed Iraqi soccer team.

U.S. hopefuls: Mr. Phelps should help anchor the American swimming relay squad to victory in the 4x100-meter freestyle. Brendan Hanson could take one of the top two medals in the men's 100-meter breaststroke.

Day 3: Monday, Aug. 16

Highlights: Men's swimming offers finals in the 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter backstroke. Women will race in the 100-meter backstroke and breaststroke. Gymnastics features men's team events while the U.S. women's basketball team begins its gold medal campaign with a game against the Czech Republic.

U.S. hopefuls: Natalie Coughlin or Aaron Peirsol could earn gold in the backstroke. Breaststroker Amanda Beard should medal in the 100-meter race. Jimmy Pedro could give the United States its only medal in Judo.

Day 4: Tuesday, Aug. 17

Highlights: Women's teams go for gold in team gymnastics. Mexico takes on Greece in men's soccer on Telemundo and swimming continues with gold medal races. The American men's basketball team takes on home favorite Greece.

U.S. hopefuls: Swordplay isn't just for the movies. American Sada Jacobson could win America's first fencing gold medal in the individual sabre. Ms. Beard has a good chance for silver in the 200-meter individual medley. Not many hold out hope for the American men to defeat Australia in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, but silver is attainable.

Day 5: Wednesday, Aug. 18

Highlights: In swimming, the men race in the 200-meter breaststroke and the 100-meter freestyle. Women compete in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. Shooting wraps up the women's double trap and 25-meter pistol events.

U.S. hopefuls: While Brendan Hanson aims for gold in the 200-meter breaststroke, Jason Lezak tries to place in the top three in the 100-meter freestyle. The United States even has a chance to pick up an equestrian medal: The American jumping team could place as high as silver.

Day 6: Thursday, Aug. 19

Highlights: Women's individual all-around gymnastics takes the prime-time stage along with a variety of swimming gold medal races. Around midnight the Americans will take on the Russians in men's volleyball.

U.S. hopefuls: Amanda Beard earned silver medals as a 14-year-old in 1996. Now the swimming veteran is considered a near lock to win gold in the women's 200-meter breaststroke. During the Olympic trials she set the world record for the event. Mr. Phelps is favored to win gold in the 200-meter individual medley final.

Day 7: Friday, Aug. 20

Highlights: After a novelty run in the 2000 games, Olympic trampoline-a division of gymnastics-takes part of the center stage for Friday. Besides the high-flying somersaults, NBC will broadcast more swimming, including the 4x100-meter relays for both men and women.

U.S. hopefuls: John Godina and Adam Nelson will almost certainly make it four straight Olympics in which U.S. athletes earn two medals in the shot put. Swimmers Ian Crocker and Mr. Phelps should compete for the top two places in the men's 100-meter butterfly. Gary Hall Jr. (50-meter freestyle) could also win a medal.

Day 8: Saturday, Aug. 21

Highlights: U.S. sprinter Marion Jones will be conspicuously absent from the 100-meter dash, but the women will race in prime time. Greece could pull off a rare medal sweep in the women's discus.

U.S. hopefuls: The American men's 4x100-meter medley relay team set the world record last year. Tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams could face off in the gold medal singles tennis match.

Day 9: Sunday, Aug. 22

Highlights: Like the women's 100-meter dash, the men's 100-meters will be missing one huge name: reigning world's fastest man Tim Montgomery. Mired in the BALCO doping scandal, Mr. Montgomery failed to qualify. With the race wide-open, Americans Maurice Greene and Shawn Crawford should rise to the podium.

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