Olympics: Showpiece set for early kick-off

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The Independent Online

The 2012 Olympics will begin in Cardiff, Coventry and Glasgow before the Games get underway in London. Football will be the first event of next year's Games, kicking off on 25 July, two days before the opening ceremony.

The day-by-day schedule is published today ahead of the tickets going on sale next month. The first British gold could go to Mark Cavendish in the road race on 28 July. The swimming begins on the same day with a possible Ian Thorpe v Michael Phelps confrontation via the 100m freestyle relay. The track and field begins on 3 August.