Olympics 2012: What to Watch Today – British gold medal potential in sailing and cycling

Ben Ainslie goes for gold in the men's Finn, Nicole Cooke defends her title in the women's Cycling Road Race and the hockey tournament begins

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The hockey tournament kicks off this morning with the New Zealand women taking on Australia and Netherlands facing Belgium – starting at 8:30am, BBC Olympics 15

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Read our beginner’s guide to hockey: a whistle-stop tour of the history, rules and contenders


Cycling: Women’s Road Race

12 noon, BBC3, BBC Olympics 3

Can Britain’s women deliver after the disappointment of the men’s race? Nicole Cooke, the defending champion, has always been an immense talent. Britain also has Lizzie Armitstead, a good finisher, and Lucy Martin. The 87-mile, three-and-a-half-hour course starts and ends in The Mall in London and takes in two loops of Box Hill in Surrey. Emma Pooley won’t blink an eye on the hill — she’s a fantastic climber and a former world time-trial champion.

Likely to be challenging is Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos. Judith Arndt from Germany is another one to watch, and the Americans featured strongly in the build-up. You can never discount the Italians, either. Giorgia Bronzini is a terrific sprinter. Hugh Porter

Denise Lewis: Why I’ll be watching cycling

“The beauty of the Games is that there’s something for everyone. You never know what’s going to grab you. I was at home (pregnant) for the Beijing Games, and on the edge of my seat watching Nicole Cooke win gold. I’d never watched road cycling before and it was so exciting. I’m going to watch her again.” 


Sailing: Men’s Finn

12 noon, BBC1, BBC Olympics 7

GB has been top in Finn — the heavy, one-person dinghy — since 2000. Our biggest rivals are Australia, but there are two almost guaranteed golds, one of which is Ben Ainslie — who’d be claiming his third consecutive in the Finn (and fourth consecutive Olympic sailing gold overall) — and medal chances in nearly every class. It’s the strongest Team GB ever. Shirley Robertson


Unsung hero

Gavin Woods, 34, Australia: This will be Woods’s fourth Olympic appearance with “the Sharks”, having represented Australia for the past 15 years. However, water polo has been in his life much longer than that. His father, sister and cousin have all competed in the sport at different Olympics.

Gavin’s men’s preliminary water polo match against Italy begins at 2:00pm, BBC Olympics 21


Golds Today

Shooting Women’s 10m Air Pistol Finals 11.45am Cycling Women’s Road Race 12 noon Shooting Women’s Skeet Finals 2pm Diving Women’s Synchronised 3m Springboard Final 3pm Weightlifting Women’s 53kg Group A 3.30pm Judo Women’s -52kg Final 4pm; Men’s -66kg Final 4.10pm Archery Women’s Gold Medal Match 6.01pm


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Make sure you don’t miss a minute of the games with our guide to watching the Olympics on TV.