Olympics 2012: What to Watch Today, Saturday 4 August

GB rowing should win yet more medals, and there are big hopes in triathlon and cycling team pursuit. Plus, Usain Bolt and Serena Williams

PICK OF THE DAY: Jessica Ennis in the final disciplines of the heptathlon, from 10:05am BBC3, BBC Olympics 1

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Women’s Triathlon

9:00am BBC1, BBC Olympics 4

In Helen Jenkins, Team GB has a real tough cookie and a strong favourite for the triathlon (1.5km swim, 43km cycle, 10km run). She’s been racing at this level since age 15. Now 28, she still looks the same. She’s like an angel but is hard as nails inside, an all-rounder, strong in each discipline, a bit like Bambi with her legs going everywhere, but powerful.

So far this year she’s run away with it. She’s taken nearly a minute off the rest of the world in races she’s competed in. She is less of a favourite than the Brownlee brothers are in the men’s event, but she is a two-time world champion and has to be taken seriously. Of the rest, Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig is very strong. She could be up there with Helen and she has a powerful sprint. Steve Trew


Rowing: Men’s Four Final

11:30am BBC1, BBC Olympics 2

Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory will be first or second for Britain. Their coach, Jurgen Grobler, has never lost an Olympic Games: he coached Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent in the coxless pairs in 1992 and 1996, and the GB men’s four in 2000-8.

This time, GB are up against a really technically good Australian four. Drew Ginn is a three-time Olympic champion. They’re laid-back Aussies. They don’t care that we’ve dominated this for however many years. Ginn would think: Redgrave? I’m as good as him.

The British will be hoofing along: smacking it, whacking it, kicking it, a lot of anger. The camera will pan across to the Aussies, moving smoothly, making it look effortless but getting as much speed. Then they’ll put their foot down. Our guys need to put them under pressure from the off. They’re technically better than us. But Pinsent never rowed well, he was just a big horse. Redgrave wasn’t technically great either!

GB also have medal hopes in the women’s lightweight double sculls, with Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking (11.50am); and the men’s lightweight double sculls, with Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter (12.10pm). Garry Herbert

Read our beginner’s guide to rowing


Michael Parkinson: What I’ll be watching

“I used to be fleet of foot when I was younger and represented my school as a sprinter. But if I could be one sportsman, I’d be Roger Federer. He defines what a sportsman should be – but I don’t think tennis should be an Olympic sport. I’m going to see the rowing though, now there’s a sport!”


Tennis: Mixed Doubles Quarter-Finals; Women’s Singles Final

From 12 noon BBC Olympics 2/3

The big day for Andy Murray is tomorrow, when he has the chance to take revenge on Roger Federer in the men’s singles final. But here’s a useful sharpener: he and Laura Robson are in the quarters of the mixed doubles. Their opponents are the Australian pair, Samantha Sosur and Lleyton Hewitt.

In the women’s singles, nobody so far has looked like stopping Serena Williams. She won Wimbledon in July and, at the same venue, is likely to steamroller her way through the Olympic final. Standing in her path: Maria Sharapova.


Athletics: Men’s 100m Heats

12:30pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 1

Tomorrow, across the world, hundreds of millions will tune in for the Usain Bolt show, hoping for a reprise of the moment when the tall Jamaican stole the 100m in Beijing at a canter. They may be disappointed.

Among those gunning for the title in today’s heats is Bolt’s fellow countryman Yohan Blake, who out-ran Bolt at 100m and 200m during the Jamaican trials (thanks, he claimed, to a diet of 16 bananas a day). Jonathan Edwards thinks Bolt will rally: “I think he’s scared he’s going to get beaten by his training partner and that will be the motivation — the idea of being number two in Jamaica.” Meanwhile, two Americans, Justin Gatlin (who took gold in 2004) and Tyson Gay (a former world champion now recovering from hip surgery), will be keen to gate-crash the Jamaican party. David Butcher

See a pic of Usain Bolt holding a Radio Times knitted Usain Bolt doll!


Cycling: Women’s Team Pursuit Finals

5:42pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 7

Three-woman teams race over 3,000m and Great Britain have a good chance of nailing gold, because the trio of Joanna Rowsell, Dani King and Laura Trott are the current world champions and the current world record holders, just like their male counterparts who won gold yesterday.

This is the first time there’s been a team pursuit event for women at the Olympics. You could get a replica of the men’s final — Australia v Great Britain — but Canada took the bronze medal at the world championships, and New Zealand and the USA are good, too. Hugh Porter

Read our beginner’s guide to the Team Pursuit


Unsung hero 

Wu Minxia, 26, China: After China’s top springboard diver Guo Jingjing retired in 2011, Minxia sprang forward to take her place. Jingjing had been Minxia’s diving partner for Synchronised events and together they won two Olympic golds. These Games will be the first where Minxia competes instead with He Zi, though they’ve already claimed a gold medal at the 2011 world championships.

Watch the women’s 3m springboard semi-final from 2:25pm on BBC Olympics 1.


Golds today

Triathlon Women’s Final 9am Rowing Women’s Single Sculls Final 12:30pm; Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls Final 12:10pm; Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls Final 11:50am; Men’s Four Final 11:30am Badminton Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match 2:15pm; Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match 3:45pm Tennis Men’s Doubles Gold Medal Match From 12 noon; Women’s Singles Gold Medal Match From 12 noon Gymnastics Women’s Trampoline Final 3:26pm Athletics Men’s 20km Race Walk Final 5pm Cycling Women’s Team Pursuit Finals 5:42pm; Men’s Sprint Finals 6:20pm Weightlifting Men’s 94kg Group A 7pm Fencing Women’s Team Epée Gold Medal Match 7:15pm Athletics Women’s Discus Final 7:30pm Swimming Women’s 50m Freestyle Final 7:30pmMen’s 1500m Freestyle Final 7:36pm Athletics Men’s Long Jump Final 7:55pm Swimming Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final 8:07pm; Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final 8:27pm Athletics Women’s Heptathlon Final Event 8:35pm; Men’s 10,000m Final 9:15pm; Women’s 100m Final 9:55pm


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