Rio 2016 Olympics on TV today: Sunday 7 August – Day 2
Rio 2016 Olympics on TV today: Sunday 7 August – Day 2
Adam Peaty goes for British gold in the 100m breaststroke, while cyclist Lizzie Armitstead aims to put controversy behind her and do the same in the cycling road race. More Team GB prospects include synchronised swimming. Plus, archery, gymnastics, and fencing
World record holder Adam Peaty is hot favourite to bring home gold for Britain in the 100m breaststroke, while cyclist Lizzie Armitstead will be aiming to put controversy behind her and do the same in the cycling road race. Welsh swimmer Jazz Carlin is also a contender in the 400m freestyle finals and Alicia Blagg and paryner Rebecca Gallantree – gold medallists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games – are looking to make the podium for women’s synchronised diving as well. There’s also archery, rowing and fencing in today’s programme of events.
I’ve never been as confident about the prospect of a British gold as I am right now with Adam Peaty going in the 100m breaststroke. World record-holder, half second faster than the next best — he’s the Usain Bolt of his discipline. GB has a rich heritage in breaststroke, starting with Anita Lonsbrough at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. After Anita came David Wilkie, Duncan Goodhew, Adrian Moorhouse and Nick Gillingham. But the last Olympic men’s swimming gold we won was 28 years ago — long before Adam was born — when Adrian Moorhouse triumphed in the 100m breaststroke in Seoul. It’s been a long wait for a British man to do it again, but in Adam Peaty I think we’ve found him.
Cycling: Women’s Road Race
The publicity around Britain’s London 2012 silver medalist Lizzie Armitstead is more about doping tests than cycling at the moment. Armitstead has been cleared to ride after one of three missed tests was declared void by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but many commentators remain unimpressed.
Before the furore, however, cycling presenter Jill Douglas was tipping Armitstead for another podium finish, and perhaps even to go one better than in London.
“I’d be very surprised if she doesn’t make the podium here in Rio,” said Douglas. “She has dominated the sport this year, always with this race at the forefront of her mind. Lizzie’s been out to Rio, she’s checked the course, she’s prepared for it and has matured as a cyclist in the process. She is now the world champion, and will certainly be the rider whom everybody else will be watching. To take that silver from 2012 — the first medal Team GB won at the Games — and turn it into gold would just be amazing.”
Fans will be hoping Armitstead can put the controversy out of her mind and focus her full attention on cycling.
Diving: Women’s 3m Synchronised
Expert’s choice: Bob Ballard
Diving cuts across all kinds of barriers. It appeals if you’re an avid sports fan, if you like the aesthetic, or even if you just think it looks good on television. A lot of people are amazed that the divers can do what they do in such a short space of time. It’s incredibly visual and I think quite captivating, too. The tell-tale sign of a good dive is the vertical, splashless entry and, believe it or not, people coming from such great heights into the water can actually rip through it without leaving a lot of splash behind, and that’s what you’re looking for. Team GB’s hopes in the women’s 3m synchronised event rest with Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree, gold medallists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. They’re a combination of youth and experience — Alicia is 19; Rebecca turns 32 during the Games.
South Korea are the undisputed queens of Olympic archery. Their women’s team has won all seven titles going back to the introduction of the event, which happened on home soil in Seoul for the 1988 Games. It would take a minor miracle for them to be defeated here, although only one of their trio — Ki Bo Bae — has experience of an Olympics, having won both individual gold and team gold at London 2012, when Lord’s cricket ground was the venue. In Rio the archery will take place in the Sambodromo, a downtown purpose-built parade area — prominent during Carnival — that dates from 1984 and was designed by the great Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. James Gill
Swimming: Women’s 400m Freestyle Final
Expert’s choice: Sharron Davies
Welsh swimmer Jazz Carlin lived with me for three months, and I know how hard she has worked to be here after missing out on 2012. Unfortunately, she has Katie Ledecky in the same event. Ledecky was the 15-year-old who beat Becky Adlington in the 800m at London 2012. She has been totally dominant since, and is a shoo-in for both the 400m and 800m. Ledecky’s also going in the 200m and the relays. She’s a metronome, able to cover all distances. She and Michael Phelps are the two global superstars in the pool in Rio 2016.
One to watch: Oksana Chusovitina
Gymnastics: Women’s qualifiers, 1:40pm BBC1
Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina is41 and Rio will be her seventh Games. In 1992 she competed in Barcelona as part of a post-USSR “United Team”, going on to represent her native Uzbekistan. In 1999, she gave birth to a son, Alisher, who in 2002 was diagnosed with leukaemia. Seeking medical help in Germany, the family moved, and from 2006 to 2012 Chusovitina competed for them too. Now back competing for Uzbekistan, she aims to challenge in the vault, an event where she has nine world championship medals. She’s also one of the few women to return to top-level competition after becoming a mother.
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