Olympics 2012: What to Watch Today, Friday 10 August

See Shanaze Reade pedal for gold in the women's BMX final. Plus synchronised swimming, the sailing 470 medal races and GB women's hockey fighting for our first medal in 20 years

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PICK OF THE DAY: Don’t miss the men’s 4x400m relay, 9:20pm BBC1. Can South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius make history as the first leg amputee to win an Olympic medal?

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Sailing: Men’s 470 Medal Race

12 noon BBC1

This class is for the little and large of sailing. In a two-person boat, like the 49er, the helm is usually light and short, and the other sailor, the crew, is usually tall to give leverage. 

Delayed from yesterday due to a lack of wind, the men compete before the scheduled women’s race. Again the Australians were the favourites at the start. Belcher and Page are just a little bit faster than everyone else. They always win the world championships, but they’ve only recently won an event in Weymouth — an important hoodoo to break. They told me afterwards that it didn’t matter to them, but I bet it did. They’re the leaders going into the medal race.

Team GB’s Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell won silver at the 2011 world championships and, considering it’s their first Games, I don’t see many nerves. They’re lying in second place. In the medal race they need to finish ahead of the Aussies with another boat between them. Can they? Yes: they’ve nothing to lose. The Aussies have. Shirley Robertson

Sailing: Women’s 470 Medal Race

1:00pm BBC3, BBC Olympics 6

Britain’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark might just have been slim favourites going into the Games — not streets ahead, but they’d been winning and they have great confidence. Nobody else has had a great year. Now they go into the medal race and it’s winner takes all: Mills and Clark are level on points with the Kiwis.

Saskia, the 32-year-old crew, has been to the Games before (her team finished sixth in Beijing). Hannah, who steers the boat, was an incredible talent at youth level who used to beat all the boys. She’s only 24 but she’s been competing at the highest international level since she was 12. Her natural talent is unbelievable. She makes a boat go fast. The combination of young talent and old head just works. Shirley Robertson


Synchronised Swimming: Women’s Team Free Routine Final

3:00pm BBC Olympics 4

I love watching synchronised swimming, it’s so delightfully deranged, like watching ballet dancers happily drowning. It’s easy to make fun, of course, particularly when the competitors paste on those rictus grins, but it’s so elegant and even charming as they do stunning Busby Berkeley type routines, only under water. And of course they are not drowning, they are waving. Alison Graham


Hockey: Women’s Bronze Medal Match

3:30pm BBC3, BBC Olympics 5

GB were heartbroken after their 2-1 defeat to Argentina in Wednesday’s semi-final: they were outclassed for most of the match, but fought back well and felt the winning goal should have been disallowed for a ball out of play in the build-up. Now they battle for the bronze medal. “We’re not going home empty-handed,” captain Kate Walsh said, defiant, after the final whistle on Wednesday. “We’ve fought too hard and given too much. We owe it to the girls who aren’t here and we owe it to our friends and families. We’ll get something out of this tournament.”

If GB prevail it would be Britain’s first Olympic hockey medal since 1992. Facing them are New Zealand, themselves smarting after losing their semi to the Netherlands in a shootout after the match finished 2-2. The NZ coach admitted his team weren’t prepared – it was the first shootout in Olympic hockey history – so they’ll be desperate to atone here.


Cycling: Women’s BMX Final

4:30pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 1

Britain’s Shanaze Reade is a front-runner with the capacity to beat everyone — her biggest challenge may be herself. She was only 19 in Beijing, where she was put forward as a serious contender, but struggled to cope with the pressures of racing at that level. That’s the beauty of the Olympics though, because it throws up surprises.

Her main competition will come from Australia’s Caroline Buchanan, who was looking good at the world championships in Birmingham earlier this year, while Magalie Pottier from France is also very consistent.

Physically, though, Shanaze has the capacity to win gold, and if her head’s on her shoulders come the final, then she can smash the competition. Jamie Staff


Golds today

Swimming Men’s 10km Marathon 12 noon Sailing Women’s 470 Final 1pm Synchronised Swimming Women’s Team Free Routine Final 3pm Cycling Women’s BMX Final 4:30pm; Men’s BMX Final 4:40pm; Wrestling Men’s 55kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 6:25pm; Men’s 74kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 6:25pm Athletics Men’s Pole Vault Final 7pm; Women’s Hammer Throw Final 7:35pm Hockey Women’s Gold Medal Match 8pm Athletics Women’s 5,000m Final 8:05pm; Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Final 8:40pm; Women’s 1500m Final 8:55pm; Men’s 4 x 400m Relay Final 9:20pm Taekwondo Women’s -67kg Gold Medal Final 10:15pm; Men’s -80kg Gold Medal Final 10:30pm


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

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