Olympics 2012: What to Watch Tonight, Friday 3 August

Cycling and swimming: Victoria Pendleton enters the chaos of the Keirin, while Rebecca Adlington defends her 800m freestyle title

PICK OF THE EVENING: Swimming – Women’s 800m Freestyle Final, 7:45pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 9. Defending champion Rebecca Adlington in her strongest event


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

Read our beginner’s guide to the Team Pursuit  

Swimming: Women’s 200m Backstroke Final

7.30pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 9

The swimmer to beat is the American 17-year-old Missy Franklin. She’s the world champion and on form: she’s already got two golds in London, for the 100m backstroke and the 4x200m freestyle relay. Anastasia Zueva goes here as well, although the Russian prefers the 100m – she was only fourth in Monday’s 100m backstroke final.

Lizzie Simmonds is Britain’s hope for a medal here. She was disappointed not to make the 100m. Coming into the Games she was in better form than Gemma Spofforth, who came fifth in the 100m back. Sharron Davies

Swimming: Men’s 100m Butterfly Final

7.38pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 9

Just Michael Phelps here, no Ryan Lochte. Four years ago in Beijing everyone thought Milorad Cavic, the Serbian, had won the gold, but Phelps was the winner by one hundredth of a second. I spoke to Michael immediately after the race and it was the most animated I’ve ever seen him. He’s normally very controlled, but he was buzzing. Very loud, very emotional.

It’ll be good to see Phelps and Cavic in this rematch. There must be a bit of needle there. And there’s another big danger to Phelps: Chad le Clos, the shock winner of the 200m fly on Tuesday, is in contention here too. Sharron Davies

Unsung hero 

Linet Masai, 22, Kenya

Linet and her older brother Moses both compete in the long-distance events, a discipline where east Africans have long dominated. Linet and Moses both narrowly missed medals in Beijing, though Linet was 10,000m world champion in 2009.

Women’s 10,000m – tonight at 9:25pm, BBC Olympics 1

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

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


To keep track of the medals won so far, and to fill out your free Radio Times wallchartcheck out our medals table