Olympics 2012: What to Watch Today, Friday 3 August

Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon, Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins rowing for gold - plus team pursuit cycling and Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic

PICK OF THE DAY: Rowing Women’s Double Sculls Final – 12:10pm, BBC1, BBC Olympics 6. Anna Watkins and three-time Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger are hot favourites to take gold…


Athletics: Women’s Heptathlon

From 10.05am BBC1, BBC3, BBC Olympics 1

It is fitting that one of Britain’s best hopes for athletics gold will open proceedings in the Olympic Stadium, as Jessica Ennis begins her bid for heptathlon glory. A serious foot injury kept her out of Beijing 2008, but since then the 26-year-old from Sheffield has won gold and silver medals at world championships and her performances so far this season have established her as the woman to beat.

Competition in seven disciplines is spread across two days, starting with the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m on this first day. Ennis will need to build a lead today to maintain her hopes of joining Daley Thompson, Denise Lewis and Mary Peters on the list of Britain’s multi-event Olympic champions. Mike Costello, Athletics correspondent, Radio 5 Live

Tennis: Men’s and Women’s Semi-Finals

From 12 noon BBC1, BBC Olympics 2/3

There’s been a jovial, relaxed atmosphere around the Olympic singles tournaments so far – but today everyone’s playing for a medal. The first men’s semi sees Roger Federer take on Juan Martin del Potro. Then it’s Andy Murray against the fearsome Novak Djokovic. Team GB fans will want the form of the quarter-finals to be carried into today’s match: Murray destroyed Nicolás Almagro, while Djokovic wobbled in his second set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

In the women’s semis, it’s Victoria Azarenka v Serena Williams, followed by Maria Sharapova v Maria Kirilenko.

Rowing: Men’s Single Sculls Final

12.30pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 6

Alan Campbell is fading this season, it’s a real shame. He’s done a fantastic job, being in and around the medals for the last few world championships, but he hasn’t lived with Mahe Drysdale and Ondrej Synek (left), who are the two favourites. It was just Drysdale after he annihilated Synek in Amsterdam, but the following week he got hit by a car while cycling and lost two weeks of training. That’s a big deal.

Alan Campbell needs an exceptional scull to get a medal because everyone has the measure of him now. His tactics were to sprint off, lead by clear water and hold on. But eventually everyone realised that if they applied a little pressure in the middle of the race, he’d fold. But for Alan to win, he has to take that gamble. He has to go all or nothing for a medal. With 500m to go, the British fans will be screaming and shouting for him to hold on and he’ll be fading in front of their eyes. They’ll be looking at him, looking at the line, looking at the crews coming up behind him. Alan will have everybody on their feet. If he has the race of his life: gold. Garry Herbert

Read our beginner’s guide to rowing

Cycling: Women’s Keirin

From 4pm (final 6.38pm) BBC1, BBC2, BBC Olympics 8

The keirin is popular in Japan. It generates a lot of betting money. The competitors race for eight laps, but at first they stay behind a little motorised pacing bike called a Derny. The riders try to get the best position and the pace builds gently. The Derny swings off the track with two and a half laps to go. Then it’s a flat-out sprint. You need nerves of steel. The gap Chris Hoy went through to win this year’s world championship wasn’t there!

Women’s keirin makes its Olympic debut in London — the world champion is Victoria Pendleton’s great rival Anna Meares of Australia, so she’s one of the favourites. Pendleton has been world champion in the keirin once, in 2007. Hugh Porter

Read our beginner’s guide to the Keirin

Cycling: Men’s Team Pursuit

First round 4.15pm; finals 5.55pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 8

Team pursuit is a 4,000m race between two squads of four who start on opposite sides of the track. Great Britain have an excellent chance of gold. They’re the world champions and I’m sure the final is going to be Britain against Australia: a repeat of the Melbourne final in April, when Great Britain set the world record. The object is to catch the other team. But as there’s only a whisker between them, they won’t be catching each other.

So it’s the team that completes the distance in the quickest time — taken from the third rider to cross the finish line, so each team can afford to lose a man. Hugh Porter

Rob Brydon: What I’ll be watching…

“I haven’t got Olympics tickets. It’s in east London, you see, and I live in Teddington, and the thought of that journey across London… Although if someone gave me tickets to the women’s beach volleyball I’d gladly walk to Horse Guards Parade. In fact I would run there.”

Coverage of the men’s and women’s last-16 beach volleyball matches at Horse Guards Parade begins at 8:55am, BBC Olympics 3

Golds today


Rowing Men’s Quadruple Sculls Final 11:30am; Men’s Pair Final 11:50am; Women’s Double Sculls Final 12:10pm; Men’s Single Sculls Final 12:30pm Shooting Men’s 50m Rifle Prone Finals 12 noon; Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Finals 2:30pm Badminton Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match 3pm Gymnastics Men’s Trampoline Final 3:26pm Weightlifting Women’s 75kg Group A 3:30pm Archery Men’s Individual Gold Medal Match 3:37pm Judo Women’s +78kg Final 4pm; Men’s +100kg Final 4:10pm Cycling Men’s Team Pursuit Finals Gold 5:59pm; Women’s Keirin Finals 6:38pm Fencing Men’s Team Sabre Gold Medal Match 6:45pm Weightlifting Men’s 85kg Group A 7pm Swimming Women’s 200m Backstroke Final 7:30pm; Men’s 100m Butterfly Final 7:38pm; Women’s 800m Freestyle Final 7:45pm; Men’s 50m Freestyle Final 8:09pm Athletics Men’s Shot Put Final 8:30pm; Women’s 10,000m Final 9:25pm