Palm Beach County Olympians Laura Bennett, Tony McQuay and McLain Ward ready to begin competition

The London Olympics organizers probably didn't have Palm Beach County sports fans' interests in mind when they set the schedule of events for the fortnight.

But it worked out pretty well just the same for a big day of local rooting.

Riviera Beach native and Suncoast High graduate Tony McQuay, North Palm Beach native and Cardinal Newman High graduate Laura Bennett and longtime Wellington resident McLain Ward all begin competition Saturday morning.

Bennett, formerly Laura Reback, has the first crack at winning a medal when the women's triathlon event begins at 4 a.m. local time. Bennett finished fourth at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

McQuay, a former state champion at Suncoast who won the NCAA 400-meter title for the University of Florida in June and followed that with a second-place finish at the U.S. Trials, races in an Olympic preliminary heat. The 400 prelims begin at 5 a.m.

Ward, who has been a member of the gold-medal winning show jumping team at the past two Olympics, had to overcome a broken kneecap suffered during a fall at an event in January in Wellington to get to London. He was sidelined four months but was able to come back and earn a chance to help threepeat as Olympic champion. The show jumping begins at 5:30 a.m.

All events can be watched live online on nbcolympics.com and NBC will show taped coverage of various track and field events during its prime-time network coverage between 8 p.m. and midnight.

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