The Olympic competitions began in 20 sports and were completed well within the time - a sign of everything going right for the organisers.
Swimmer Michael Phelps (in pic) of the US had the fastest time in qualifying for the 400-meter individual medley to begin his chase of a record-tying seven Gold medals at the Athens Olympics. He posted the best qualifying time of 4 minutes, 13.29 seconds. His world record is 4:08.41. Getty