4 x 100-meter relay London 2012 Olympics, women's 4 x 400-meter relay as Games enter final weekend

LONDON (CNN) -- With just two days left of the London 2012 Games, the finest sprinters of Team USA and Jamaica's champions Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are readying for a final showdown in the men's 4x100-meter relay.

The Jamaican quartet is the odds-on favorite as it seeks to keep the title it won in Beijing -- and earn a sixth gold medal for Bolt, who has already made history by defending both his 100-meter and 200-meter titles.

Team USA ran a national record of 37.38 to qualify for the final, a fraction of a second faster than Jamaica.

The Americans will hope to follow the lead of the U.S. women's 4x100-meter team, which won gold Friday and set a new world record in the process.

Team GB failed to make the Saturday's relay final after botching a baton handover, so the home crowd's hopes of gold on the last night of competition in the Olympic Stadium rest largely on the shoulders of endurance runner Mo Farah.

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If the 5,000-meter world champion manages a gold in that event he will double his medal haul from this Games, following his win in the 10,000-meter race a week ago.

Meanwhile, South Africa's Caster Semenya, the athlete at the center of a gender row three years ago, goes into the women's 800-meter final among the favorites after posting the fastest time in the semifinals. Kenya's Pamela Jelimo, the defending champion, and Russia's Mariya Savinova are also in contention for a medal.

The women's 4 x 400-meter relay final will again pit Jamaica and the United States against each other, although Russia and Great Britain also posted fast qualifying times.

With 32 gold medals up for grabs across 15 sports, it's set to be a busy day outside the stadium too.

The men's 50-kilometer race walk set off from The Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace, early Saturday.

The field is without Beijing gold-medalist Alex Schwazer, who was expelled from the Games Friday after testing positive for a banned substance, recombinant erythropoietin (rhEPO), which aids red blood cell production. The 27-year-old Italian set an Olympic record four years ago.

Team GB's first gold medal of the day came on the sparkling waters of Eton Dorney lake, when Ed McKeever won the men's K1 200m canoe sprint.

The gold was the 26th for the host nation, which currently lies third in the medal table, behind the United States and China but ahead of Russia.

Ukraine picked up gold in the men's C1 200m canoe sprint, thanks to the paddle power of Yuri Cheban, and silver in the women's canoe spring kayak single (K1) 200m. Lisa Carrington of New Zealand took the gold in that event.

Russia's pair stormed through the field to claim victory in the men's K2 200m race, the last canoe sprint event and final contest at Eton Dorney, with silver going to Belarus and bronze to Great Britain.

The U.S. women's basketball team will shoot for five straight Olympic gold medals when they go up against France.

The French can't claim the healthy winning margins of the Americans, nor can they boast the likes of Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker or Maya Moore. But they are no slouches either, having won each of their seven contests so far this Olympic Games.

Brazil, the host of the next summer Games and a famously football-mad nation, will be looking for its first Olympic gold medal in the final against Mexico at Wembley.

Over at the Aquatics Center, China's 19-year-old diver Qiu Bo enters the 10-meter final as a runaway favorite, as the top qualifier and recipient of a remarkable 25 perfect 10s in last year's FINA/Midea Diving World Series 10-meter event.

Challenging him for the top spot Saturday night will be countryman Lin Yue, Germany's Sascha Klein and Martin Wolfram, Mexico's German Sanchez Sanchez and Ivan Garcia Navarro, among others. Team GB's Tom Daley scraped into the semifinal but will be hoping to live up to the home crowd's expectations.

A new venue also makes its Olympic debut Saturday -- Hadleigh Farm in Essex, which is hosting the mountain bike competition. The women go first, with 30 competing for gold Saturday, ahead of the men's event Sunday.

Once the athletics competition wraps up in the stadium, the race will be on for technical crews to transform it ready for the closing ceremony.

According to the London Games organizers, LOCOG, musical performers will be the focus of the closing ceremony, titled "A Symphony of British Music."

Among the British acts rumored to be taking part are the Spice Girls and the Pet Shop Boys, as well as singers Jessie J. and George Michael and rapper Tinie Tempah.

And like the spectacular opening ceremony just over two weeks ago, which was characterized by a quirky exuberance, it will feature thousands of local

volunteers and schoolchildren.

The show, attended by many of the 10,500 athletes who competed at the Games, will likely be watched on television by around 750 million people worldwide, LOCOG has said.


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