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Golden Games Await

LIKE ALL MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH ATHLETICS SUPPORTERS' CLUB, EVE LANGFORD CANNOT WAIT FOR THE ATHLETICS ACTION TO KICK OFF IN RIO

ASK A MEMBER of the British Athletics Supporters' Club which events they are most looking forward to in Rio and the list will usually go on so long they find they've missed the last bus home.

We all have our favourite disciplines, as shown by the varied choice of stadium seating options on offer to our members, and many will be looking forward once again to a world-class high jump, hammer or 3000m steeplechase competition.

There will also be the showcase events to enjoy, with names recognised far beyond the confines of die-hard athletics fans: Mo Farah going for his second Olympic double, Jessica Ennis-Hill trying to retain her heptathlon title, this time with baby Reggie in tow, and Greg Rutherford, who leapt into the public's attention in 2012 and hasn't left it since.

This year, however, perhaps more so than ever before, athletics fans will have new faces to cheer,

Elliot Giles burst on to the scene, winning the men's 800m at the British trials a few weeks ago, and then backed up that performance by gaining the Rio qualifying time at the European Championships. With a European bronze medal already in the bag, he is one to watch in Rio and for many years to come.

What a year it has been for Scottish athlete Andrew Butchart, who surprised and delighted the crowd at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham when he took the 5000m British title ahead of Tom Farrell and Andy Vernon.

Butchart's fantastic run for second behind Mo Farah at the Willer Anniversary Games, burning off a fantastic field, proved he is in championship form and will be one to watch.

Andrew Pozzi made a welcome return to international competition this summer after several seasons out due to injury. Despite retiring from the final of the European 110m hurdles final as a precaution, the 24-year-old is in personal best form and could contest the podium positions if he can stay injury-free.

In the men's field events, Chris Baker will go in the high jump alongside 2012 bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz. The competition is wide open, as favourites have faltered and surprise victories have been snatched already in 2016.

The women's sprints will be a must-watch for all athletics fans. Desiree Henry, Daryll Neita, Dina Asher-Smith, Asha Philip and Jodie Williams are on scorching form and will start as serious contenders in the relay and their individual events.

Emily Diamond and Seren Bundy-Davies have been in good form in 2016 and were the first two athletes chosen to represent Great Britain in the 400m. They will be joined by former Olympic and world champion Christine Ohuruogu and all eyes will be on the trio, with hopes high for both the individual and relay.

Women's long jump is on fire at the moment. Three athletes will compete for Great Britain in Rio; Lorraine Ugen, Sham Proctor and British champion Jazmin Sawyers will be giving everything they've got to bring home a medal.

No list of British hopefuls would be complete without the inclusion of the scintillating Laura Muir. The Scottish athlete's performances have been setting stadiums alight during her quest to reach the Olympic final and British hopes are pinned firmly on Muir putting on another breathtaking show.

Finally, the relays. Every British heart will skip a beat as the four teams step out on to that Brazilian track, in the reasonable belief that each and every squad is capable of bringing home a medal.

No matter what their favourite event, preferred view from the stands or athlete of choice, one thing is certain: the British Athletics Supporters' Club will be getting behind each and every athlete competing in Rio in the coming days.

Good luck, everyone!

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