London 2012 Paralympics: What to watch today, Friday 31 August

Wheelchair racing legend David Weir goes for the first of four medals in the stadium. Plus Tom Aggar races in the men's single sculls and the five-a-side football kicks off

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London 2012 Paralympics: What to watch today, Friday 31 August
Written By
Radio Times staff
David Weir

Athletics

from 9.15am C4, 6.25pm More4

The track and field programme gets under way in the Olympic Stadium today, with several of GB’s best-known Paralympians in action, including David Weir, who won GB’s only two athletics golds in Beijing. Weir is perhaps the world’s top all-round wheelchair racer and this afternoon begins the defence of his title in the blue riband event, the T54 1500 metres. Another wheelchair athlete to watch is 20-year-old Hannah Cockroft, reigning world champion in the T34 100m and looking for her first gold medal at 8.15pm. Plus, Blackpool’s Shelly Woods opens her account in the T54 5000m heats hoping to put memories of Beijing behind her: Woods came second in 2008 but the home straight of the final saw an ugly pile-up that meant the whole race had to be re-staged, and second time round she slipped to bronze. David Butcher



Tom Aggar

Rowing: Men's single sculls

From 9.15am C4

Tom Aggar, a 28-year-old from London, must be an intimidating opponent for the other rowers at Eton Dorney: his evident upper-body strength is one thing but his competition record is an imposing one. Since taking up the sport after an accident in 2005 broke his spine and ended his promising rugby career, Aggar has proved unbeatable at solo, arms-only sculling, picking up gold at Beijing, several world championship titles and numerous records. He is the heavy favourite here but insists that the competition has grown much stronger since rowing made its Paralympics debut four years ago. Jack Seale



Oliver Hynd

Swimming

From 9.15am C4, 6.25pm More4

If you thought the Brownlee brothers in the Olympics triathlon was a great sibling success story, just wait until you see swimmers Sam and Oliver Hynd, two brothers competing in the morning heats of the S8 400m Freestyle. Sam (21) and Oliver (17), who both have a form of muscular dystrophy, came first and second in the Paralympic European Championships last year. If all goes well in the heats, they will compete for family bragging rights once again in this evening’s final. Other British hopefuls in the pool today include first-time Paralympian Ben Proctor and European Champion Heather Frederiksen, who is hoping to add to her Backstroke gold in Beijing by claiming victory in the S8 400m Freestyle. James Gill


Dave Clarke

Football: Men's Five-a-side

From 3.25pm More4

The British Football 5-a-side team play their first game at the Riverbank Arena in the Olympic Park this afternoon, a must-win encounter against fellow medal-contenders Spain. Four players with visual impairments make up the outfield, wearing blindfolds to ensure fairness. The goalkeeper is allowed to be sighted, and teams also use a guide behind the opposition’s goal to shout instructions. The ball contains metal bearings so players can hear where it is. Team GB legend and captain David Clarke is the one to watch, having scored an outstanding 126 goals in 139 international appearances. With 5 silver medals to his name from World and European Championships, the 41-year-old is desperate to finally taste gold in front of a home crowd. JG


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