London 2012 Paralympic Games schedule revealed

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic and Paralympic sports reporter
Great Britain's track cyclists will begin the medal quest
Home fans will be hoping for more success for Britain's cyclists

Great Britain's track cyclists will begin the medal quest for ParalympicsGBexternal-link at the London 2012 Games.

The schedule has been announced and defending champions Darren Kennyexternal-link and Sarah Storey will hope to contest finals on the opening day, 30 August.

Sports ticketsexternal-link will cost £10-£45, with ceremony tickets costing £20.12-£500.

On 1 September GB's youngest Paralympic medallist Ellie Simmonds will begin the defence of her S6 400m freestyle title.

The S6 100m freestyle event, which in China the then 13-year-old Simmonds also took gold in - will take place on 7 September.

Great Britain's haul of 102 medals (42 gold) at the Beijing Paralympics put them second in the overall standings.

ParalympicsGB Chief Executive Tim Hollingsworth hopes to repeat those achievements and go further in London 2012.

"For us, a successful home Games is not just about maintaining our second place on the medal table in the face of increasing competition," said Hollingsworth, "it's about raising the profile of Paralympic sport and British Paralympians.

"The Paralympics here in the UK can step out of the shadow of the Olympic Games. Our time is now."

Great Britain participated in 18 of the 20 Paralympic sports in Beijing but the ambition is for representation in each discipline in London.

To date only five athletes have been officially named in the London 2012 ParalympicsGB team, which is expected to be around 300-strong.

Click here for a full rundown of the London 2012 Paralympic Games schedule.external-link

Key sport - athletics:

South Africa's 'blade-runner' Oscar Pistoriusexternal-link is the undoubted star of the sport and will line-up at the forthcoming able-bodied world championships in Daegu, South Korea.

He is likely to begin his Paralympic campaign on 1 September, with the defence of his T44 200m title.

Great Britain's stand-out performer is wheelchair racer David Weirexternal-link.

In Beijing he won the T54 800m and 1500m events - the only gold medals by a British athlete - as the team finished 18th in the individual sport rankings.

They are aiming for a top-eight place in 2012 and Weir is in good form this year, having taken three titles at the World Championships in New Zealand in January.

"I know the crowd are going to be incredible and I cannot wait for the chance to compete for medals in my home city," said Weir should compete in the 5000m heats on 31 August.

GB's first medal could come through Stephen Miller in the club event, while other medal hopefuls include world champions Hannah Cockroft and Libby Clegg, as well as discus world record holder Dan Greaves.

Key sport - cycling:

GB's cyclists finished top of the standings at the Track World Championships in Italy this year, suggesting they could shine once again in London.

Six-time Paralympic champion Darren Kennyexternal-link was the top performer with three titles, while former swimmer Sarah Storey, who is still aiming to qualify for both the Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2012, took home two.

They are also expected to compete on the road and have been named alongside Beijing champion Rachel Morris in the squad for the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Denmark in September.

Key sport - swimming

Simmonds aside, GB have a number of other medal prospects including Paralympic silver medallist Jonathan Foxexternal-link, who will be expected to complete in one of the first finals at the Aquatics Centre.

The S7 swimmer is the 100m backstroke world record holder, attaining both world and European titles in the event since Beijing.

Veteran Sascha Kindredexternal-link won the first of his six Paralympic gold medals back at the 2000 Sydney Games and is still at the top of his sport, whilst Susie Rodgersexternal-link was the outstanding performer at this year's European championships in Berlin, where she claimed five gold medals.