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Last Updated: Tuesday July 08 2008 05:17 GMT

Countdown to Beijing Games begins

Olympics graphic

With the Olympics due to start on 8 August, Newsround's official countdown to the Games has begun.

More than 10,000 athletes will be in China, battling it out to try to get their hands on a gold medal.

Our Olympics reporter Sonali will be bringing you all the latest news and gossip from Beijing when the Games kick-off.

But first, she's been finding out which sports Team GB are hoping to win big in...


Although the final line-up hasn't been decided, it looks like more than 300 athletes will make up Team GB at the Olympics, taking part in 19 of the 28 sports being played in China.

Ben Ainslie chatting to Sonali
Sailor Ben Ainslie's going for his third gold
And while everyone's been working hard for a medal - there are a few sports in which we know we're bound get some gold...

In the past couple of Olympics, sailing has been Britain's most successful sport.

But being the best means there's a big reputation to live up to - Team GB's target is four medals from the 18 sailors off to Beijing.

And all eyes will be on Ben Ainslie, who's going for his third straight Olympic gold.

Other sports

So why does he reckon we're so good at sailing?

Sonali with the new kit
"Everyone thinks we're good at the sitting down sports and sailing is one of them...," he joked.

But he might just have a point, because the other sports we're great at are rowing and cycling.

Britain's cyclists did really well at the World Championships this year so expectations are high. The aim for the cycling team is to win six medals.

Best performance

One of them should be for the BMX event, because British teenager Shanaze Reade recently won the BMX world championship, so she's hot favourite for gold.

Shanaze Reade chatting to Sonali
Shanaze Reade is a BMX world champion
The 19-year-old said the whole cycling team's on top form: "It's absolutely amazing. For some people, it's their last Olympics so they're going out with a big bang and hopefully we can all bring back some gold medals."

With Britain's track and field athletes looking strong too, sport officials in the UK reckon Team GB is on course to bag 10 to 12 gold medals in Beijing!

If they do, it'll be our best Olympic performance in almost 90 years...