Olympics 2012: What to Watch Today, Saturday 11 August

Nick Woodbridge in the modern pentathlon, Ed McKeever in the kayak, plus the men's football final and a chance of a GB hockey medal

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Modern Pentathlon

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From 8:45am, BBC Olympics 10, 6:45pm, BBC1

This is a truly Olympic sport, invented and nurtured by the IOC’s founder Baron de Coubertin. It’s also an Edwardian James Bond fantasy. The Baron imagined a military officer trapped behind enemy lines; his return to safe ground required a swim to safety, a ride on an unfamiliar horse, fighting a duel, shooting at the enemy, and a run for home. These five events are now combined in a single day, culminating in a 3,000m run interspersed with shooting.

Team GB’s Nick Woodbridge is ranked ninth in the world and will be looking to the home crowd to help him into the medals. Tomorrow’s women’s event sees our current world champion Mhairi Spence leading the charge. David Goldblatt

Read our beginner’s guide to the Modern Pentathlon


Canoe Sprint: Men’s Kayak Finals

9:30am, BBC1, BBC Olympics 3

While the canoe slalom has been like watching athletes ride inside a washing machine, today’s sprint races take us to the wide, flat waters of Eton Dorney. The boats come in two forms: canoes (Cs) are propelled with single-ended paddles by people bending on one knee. Kayaks (Ks) are propelled with double-ended paddles by seated competitors. They contain one, two or four people, thus all those K1s and C2s. Canoeists also use their paddle to steer the boat; kayakers steer with a rudder controlled by their feet. Then it’s paddle like mad to be first across the line. 

Ed McKeever, Britain’s world champion and main gold medal hope, races in the new K1200m sprint race (9:30am), cut down from 500m at the last Games. McKeever didn’t make much of an impact as a 500m paddler, but at 200m he is a fantastic sprinter and at the top of his game. If he gets ahead at the first stroke, no one will catch him. Also look out for Liam Heath and Jon Schofield in the K2 race (10:41am) – the pair have been European champions for the past three years, although the French team are narrow favourites for London. It’s set to be a very close race…


Sailing: Women’s Elliott 6m Final

1:05pm BBC3, BBC Olympics 2

This is new for this Games, but it’s the only Olympics it’ll be at: it’s been chucked out again. Sports politics! Men in blazers with no clear plan. In all the other classes they race together for a week and on the last day, the top ten race. Here, it’s one on one. Two pools, then knockout. It’s a three-girl keelboat, which is much more stable than a dinghy and a little slower, so it’s better for manoeuvring. The races are aggressive, tactical, stressful and quite personal. There’ll be a bit of sledging. You’re one bad decision from going home. It’s quite a cerebral sport: you have to recognise the pattern of the race and catch your opponent out.

The Brits were knocked out in the quarters by Russia. Shirley Robertson


Football: Men’s Gold Medal Match

3:00pm, BBC1, BBC Olympics 1

Today’s clash is sure to be a break with the past. Argentina were finalists in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, taking gold both times. In their absence, rivals Brazil – who qualified over Argentina and were the only team with a 100 per cent record in the group stages – will fly the flag for South America against Mexico. 

After a rocky first half-hour in Brazil’s semi-final against South Korea – GB’s conquerors – the strong tournament favourites upped their game and brushed their opponents aside 3-0, two of the goals coming from tournament top scorer Leandro Damiao. He and the most gifted young forward in world football, Neymar, looked unstoppable in the second half.

Yet in their semi-final, Mexico beat a tasty Japan side in a high-quality game full of great goals. This could be a thriller. 


Hockey: Men’s Bronze Medal Match

3:30pm BBC3, BBC Olympics 4

GB v Australia is a repeat of one of the best games of the tournament. Australia are a stronger side on paper and they effortlessly took a 3-0 lead in the Pool A match, only for GB to fight back to 3-3. Since then, both teams have  been disappointed in the semi-finals: Australia went down 4-2 to defending champions Germany, while GB were absolutely hammered by the Netherlands, the final score a horrendous 9-2. If GB play like that again, they’ll be going home with nothing.

Golds today

Athletics Men’s 50km Race Walk 9am; Canoe Sprint Men’s Kayak Single 200m Finals 9:30am; Men’s Canoe Single 200m Finals 9:47am; Women’s Kayak Single 200m Finals 10:14am; Men’s Kayak Double 200m Finals 10:41am Sailing Women’s Elliott 6m Medal Race 12 noon Cycling Women’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country Final 12:30pm Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual All-Around Final Rotation 1 1:30pm; Final Rotation 2 2:03pm; Final Rotation 3 2:37pm; Final Rotation 4 3:10pm Football Men’s Gold Medal Match 3pm Athletics Women’s 20km Race Walk 5pm Wrestling Men’s 60kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 6:25pm; Men’s 84kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 6:25pm; Men’s 120kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 6:25pm Volleyball Women’s
Gold Medal Match 6:30pm Modern Pentathlon Men’s Combined Event 6:45pm Athletics Women’s High Jump Final 7pm; Men’s Javelin Final 7:20pm; Men’s 5,000m Final 7:30pm Hockey Men’s Gold Medal Match 8pm Athletics Women’s 800m Final 8pm; Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Final 8:25pm Boxing Men’s Light Fly Final 8:30pm Diving Men’s 10m Platform Final 8:30pm Handball Women’s Gold Medal Match 8:30pm Boxing Men’s Bantam Final 8:45pm Athletics Men’s 4 x 100m Relay Final 9pm Basketball Women’s Gold Medal Game 9pm Boxing Men’s Light Welter Final 9:15pm; Men’s Middle Final 9:45pm; Men’s Heavy Final 10:15pm 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