Olympics 2012: What to Watch Today, Sunday 12 August

Will Kobe Bryant and the NBA stars continue their reign as Olympic basketball kings? And can Anthony Joshua win super-heavyweight boxing gold for GB?

PICK OF THE DAY: Men’s Marathon, 11:00am, BBC1, BBC Olympics 2


Kenyans Wilson Kipsang and Abel Kirui are the men to beat over 26.2 miles against the picture-postcard backdrop of London

Women’s Modern Pentathlon

From 8.00am BBC Olympics 4, 12.35pm BBC3

This is a really demanding event because pentathletes compete in fencing, swimming, riding and then combined shooting and cross-country running — all in one day. On the final weekend, this is one of the last events of the Games and it could be a great finale because Britain has two women right up there in the medal zone. Mhairi Spence, 26, won gold at the world championships in May and her 22-year-old team-mate Samantha Murray won bronze.

Mhairi’s a great fencer and, as that’s the first event, she could get off to a flyer. Particularly as fencing is the only event where you can take points off your competitors.

Her main threats are the German reigning Olympic champion Lena Schöneborn and Lithuanian Laura Asadauskaite. Stephanie Cook

Boxing: Men’s Finals

From 1.30pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 3

The strongest boxing nation now is Ukraine – they’ve been working hard at it and it’s a huge country, but they also happen to have a clutch of very good boxers. They have the favourite for the lightweight final (1.45pm), Vasyl Lomachenko. He won gold in Beijing and got the trophy for the best boxer of the tournament. To beat him you’re going to have to hit him with a sledgehammer.  

Luke Campbell won bantamweight gold last night and Britain have two more contenders today: Freddie Evans in the welterweight final (2.15pm) and, at super heavyweight, Anthony Joshua. He could do what Audley Harrison did in 2000. Joshua beat Italy’s defending Olympic champion, Roberto Cammarelle – his opponent in today’s final at 3.15pm – in the world championship quarter-finals.

If Joshua gets a gold, as a heavyweight pro he can write his own ticket. He can box and he can punch as well. When you turn pro you need what Barry McGuigan called “the old equaliser” – the ability to knock guys down. If you become the Olympic heavyweight champion – look at Frazier, Foreman, Wladimir Klitschko – it has more cachet round the world than the Olympic 100m. You’re the best man on the planet. Jim Neilly

Rhythmic Gymnastics: Group All-Around Final

1:30pm, BBC Olympics 7

As a girl this is the one sport I fancied having a go at. All that prancing about, twirling ribbons and posing with a giant ball while wearing a sparkly leotard didn’t seem like a proper sport at all to my childish mind. Of course it is a sport, which as well as being a visually arresting combination of flexibility, strength, grace and dexterity, involves eye-watering contortions. Plus you need to maintain a rictus of delight while you’re wrapping your left leg behind your right ear and balancing a hoop on your nose. Jane Rackham

Basketball: Men’s Gold Medal Game

3.00pm BBC3, BBC Olympics 1

Everyone will talk about the USA, because their squad comprises the very elite of players in the NBA, America’s professional league. Kobe Bryant is the player to watch. It won’t be about his playing, but how he pulls his team together, and whether he can resist the temptation to shoot everything that comes into his hands. He has to lead by example. Winning the NBA isn’t like winning a world championship. This is an actual world championship. You can say, we’re the best in the world.

Spain are their opponents in today’s final, and the US are no longer shoo-ins. Thirty per cent of the NBA is foreign. It attracts players from all over the world. But the draw of the NBA has lessened: there are players in Europe making far more money than they would in the NBA. John Amaechi

Golds today

Athletics Men’s Marathon 11am Volleyball Men’s Gold Medal Match 1pm Wrestling Men’s 66kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 1:25pm; Men’s 96kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 1:25pm Boxing Men’s Fly Final 1:30pm Cycling Men’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country Final 1:30pm Rhythmic gymnastics Group All-Around Final Rotation 1  1:30pm Boxing Men’s Light Final 1:45pm Gymnastics Group All-Around Final Rotation 2 2:17pm Boxing Men’s Welter Final 2:15pm; Men’s Light Heavy Final 2:45pm Basketball Men’s Gold Medal Game 3pm Handball Men’s Gold Medal Match 2:30pm Boxing Men’s Super Heavy Final 3:15pm Water Polo Men’s Gold Medal Match 3:50pm Modern Pentathlon Women’s Combined Event 6pm

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