London 2012: beginners’ guides to the Olympic events

Need an introduction to the ins and outs of some of those harder to grasp disciplines? Let our experts guide you...

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Beach volleyball

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A run-through of the rules, plus some of those hidden hand signals deciphered…

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Modern Pentathlon

Did you know that the five events are based on the escape of a soldier trapped in a castle on a lake?

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Women’s boxing

Did you know the earliest recorded women’s bout took place in 1722 near Oxford Circus?

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Track Cycling

The Omnium: six disciplines combine Read more

The Keirin: wondering why there’s a motorbike on the cycling track? Read more

Team Pursuit: speed, endurance and complex manoeuvring Read more

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Weightlifting

Learn all about the disciplines, thrusts, tactics and mind games adopted by the hefty competitors

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Dressage

An event where the competitors wear top hats and ride dancing horses? What’s not to like, asks David Goldblatt

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Rowing

The low-down on the format, tactics and physical pain that must be endured by the rowers competing in London 2012

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Men’s gymnastics

From vault to pommel horse, rings to bars, read up on the various different disciplines as Team GB takes part in the Artistic Men’s Team Final

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Hockey

A whistle-stop tour of the rules, history and top contenders for the men’s and women’s titles

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Fencing

The rules are fabulously complex – but we’re here to make things simple

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Cycling: Road

The Road Race: how to tell your pelaton from your breakaway Read more

The Time Trial: the kit, the tactics, the contenders and the course Read more

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High jump

Learn all about the technique and tactics, plus David Goldblatt’s thoughts on British hopeful Robbie Grabarz

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Triathlon

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As the brothers Brownlee chase GB’s first ever Triathlon medals, here’s all you need to know about the gruelling event, from drafting to ducking to domestiques… Read more

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