GB’s women gymnasts, featuring the Downie sisters Rebecca and Ellie, are strong contenders for the team finals today. Olympic veteran William Fox-Pitt is approaching this year’s showjumping competition at a gallop despite a major head injury in October, but suffered a bad day at the office yesterday and now faces a battle to regain a spot among the main contenders. Another Brit to watch out for is canoeist David Florence in the slalom men’s C1 final. And in the men’s 200m butterfly final, a battle of the continents is expected — with Michael Phelps for America, Chad Le Clos for Africa, and Laszlo Cseh for Europe. There’s also women’s football, rowing, shooting, and weightlifting.
See the bottom of the page for a guide to every single gold up for grabs today, plus our Ones To Watch, NBA players Raulzinho and Nenê. And take a look at the rest of our Olympics coverage here.
Rowing: Men’s Pair Semi-finals
Expert’s choice: James Cracknell
If you want an example of how to row the perfect race, keep an eye on New Zealand’s Eric Murray and Hamish Bond. Matthew Pinsent and I held the world record for a decade, and these guys broke it in 2012 by a mammoth six seconds. The reason they’re so quick is because they’re not only super strong, they are also very light. Their weights add up to 182kg; the combined weight of me and Matthew was a little over 200kg. These guys have taken the sport to a whole new level. Britain – represented by Stewart Innes and Alan Sinclair – have got every chance of a silver medal in this. Up against the mighty New Zealanders, that would be no disgrace.
Equestrian: Three-day Eventing (Showjumping Final)
How much do you think you would sacrifice to be an Olympian? We could all see ourselves recovering from a torn muscle here, a broken bone there, but a serious head injury? That takes an Olympic level of commitment. GB rider and four-time Olympian William Fox-Pitt was placed in an induced coma in October after falling from his horse. Even after he left hospital he continued to have trouble with his vision; he wasn’t able to drive for six months, let alone prepare for the “equestrian triathlon” that is three-day eventing — a combination of dressage, show jumping and cross country. “I couldn’t pick up a child, I couldn’t walk up the stairs, I couldn’t even walk to the stables,” he says. But despite starting the competition at a gallop, Fox-Pitt suffered from errors yesterday and faces a battle to regain a place among the contenders. James Gill
Canoe Slalom: Men’s C1 Final
Expert’s choice: Helen Reeves
Canoe slalom is both dynamic and very easy to follow. Competitors try to post the fastest time on a 250m white-water course without picking up penalties for missed gates. In canoeing (the C class), athletes are strapped into the boat while kneeling down, with just one blade to paddle with. Kayakers (K class) use double-blade paddles. Britain’s David Florence was the 2015 world champion and he’s the one to beat. On Rio’s man-made course the waves are big, and you need to be both technically and physically strong. The combination of white water and people pushing themselves to the limit creates fantastic drama.
Gymnastics: Women’s Team Finals
Expert’s choice: Craig Heap
Team GB’s women just go from strength to strength. They won bronze at last October’s World Championships in Glasgow, then silver at June’s European Championships in Bern. At the heart of the team are Rebecca Downie, 24, and her younger sister Ellie, 17. Along with Claudia Fragapane, who came to prominence at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, they’re certainly in contention for a medal in the team events. But it’s the US who are favourites to win gold. They’re in another league in terms of power on both the floor and the vault, throwing in an extra twist or somersault on every occasion. World champion Simone Biles is an absolute powerhouse, her style so different to that of the more artistic Chinese gymnasts.
Swimming: Men’s 200m Butterfly Final
Expert’s choice: Steve Parry
Since his first Olympics, in 2000, Michael Phelps has won 18 gold medals, become a father, quit the sport and returned to it, been convicted of driving under the influence, and been suspended from the US team. But he’s still not done. Phelps is a story that transcends all Olympic sport. He just loves swimming, and today we’re hoping to see him in the 200m butter y, up against South Africa’s Chad Le Clos — to whom he finished second at London 2012 —and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, probably the greatest European swimmer of the past 20 years. It’s a clash of continents: Africa, Europe and America.
One To Watch: Utah Jazz’s Raulzinho and Washington Wizards’ Nenê
Men’s Basketball: Brazil v Spain 6: 15pm BBC4
This sport could well bring a medal for the hosts, thanks in part to work done by the NBA — the US national basketball league — in establishing a programme in Rio’s favelas. Home stars include Utah Jazz’s Raulzinho and Washington Wizards’ Nenê, in a contest that brings together 12 nations, initially in two groups of six. Team USA look weaker than usual, but the 14-time Olympic champions will still take some beating.
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