Olympics 2012: What to Watch Tonight, Thursday 9 August

Usain Bolt aims to retain the Olympic sprint double in the 200m, while David Rudisha is hot favourite in the 800m. Plus, GB in the men's hockey semi-final

PICK OF THE DAY: Men’s 200m Final – can Usain Bolt beat teammate Yohan Blake to defend the Olympic sprint double?


Athletics: Men’s 800m Final

8:00pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 1

Kenyan David Rudisha is one of the hottest favourites anywhere in the Olympic Park. The world record holder makes the 800m look like a half-mile sprint.

A leader of the Masai community, he is the world champion and world record holder and has dominated his event like no other athlete over the past two years. The trend of surprise results in the Olympic 800m is about to end.

He has been coached by the Irish missionary Brother Colm O’Connell at St Patrick’s High School in Iten, Kenya, where they plant a tree in honour of each former pupil who wins Olympic gold. Time to make room for another… Mike Costello

Men’s Hockey Semi-Final: Netherlands v GB

8pm BBC Olympics 3

Britain hasn’t won an Olympic hockey medal since the women’s team took bronze at Barcelona 1992. The current women’s side lost their semi against Argentina yesterday and play for bronze against New Zealand tomorrow; before that, the men – who haven’t medalled since winning the gold in 1988 – are the underdogs in their semi-final.

GB qualified in nervy, unconvincing fashion: needing just a draw against Spain to progress from Pool A, they took the lead through tournament star Ashley Jackson but then sat on their advantage, allowing Spain to equalise and then threaten with late penalty corners, and appeals for more set-piece opportunities that were controversially turned down.

On the other hand, GB’s comeback in their previous pool match, from 3-0 down to 3-3 against Australia, the best team in the world, shows they can give any opposition problems.

Their task here is a difficult one. The Netherlands, a country where hockey has a vastly higher profile than it does in Britain, will expect to go through to the gold medal match.

Take our whistle-stop tour of the history and rules of hockey

Beach Volleyball: Men’s Gold Medal Match

9:00pm BBC3, BBC Olympics 6

Middle-aged men who should know better will try to convince you that women’s beach volleyball – where the competitors wear sports bras and teeny-tiny shorts – is a serious sport. They say this in much the same way as they will tell you that they buy Playboy for its erudite and well-written features. So what of the men’s beach volleyball? Are there any leering opportunities for the watching women? It doesn’t look like it – just big vests and big shorts. Alison Graham

Read our guide to the rules, and those enigmatic hand signals…

Golds today

Canoe Men’s Canoe Double 1,000m Finals 9:30am; Men’s Kayak Four 1,000m Finals 9:48am; Women’s Kayak Single 500m Finals 10:08am; Women’s Kayak Double 500m Final 10:35am Swimming Women’s 10km Marathon Final 12 noon Equestrian Individual Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle 12:30pm Sailing Men’s 470 Medal Race 1pm Boxing Women’s Fly Final 4:30pm; Women’s Light Final 4:45pm; Women’s Middle Final 5:15pm Wrestling Women’s Freestyle Gold Medal Final 6:15pm; Women’s 72kg Freestyle Gold Medal Final 6:15pm Diving Women’s 10m Platform Final 7pm Athletics Men’s Triple Jump Final 7:20pm Football Women’s Gold Medal Match 7:45pm Water Polo Women’s Gold Medal Match 8pm Athletics Men’s 800m Final 8pm; Men’s 200m Final 8:55pm; Women’s Javelin Final 9pm Beach Volleyball Men’s Gold Medal Match 9pm Taekwondo Women’s -57kg Gold Medal Final 10:15pm; Men’s -68kg 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.

To keep track of the medals won so far, and to fill out your free Radio Times wallchartcheck out our medals table