London 2012 Olympics: Saturday viewer’s guide

By Matt Brooks

By all accounts — both live and tape-delayedDanny Boyle’s highly-anticipated Opening Ceremonies were a smashing success. Now the games begin in earnest with a full slate of events Saturday from the pool and the pitch to the court and the range.

olympic mascots

Gallery: Click the above photo for images from Friday’s Opening Ceremonies

Twelve gold medals will be awarded, and many of the biggest names on the United States team will be in action. How will you keep track of it all? Consider this your guide.

Going for the gold

Here’s the list of sports that will hand out medals on Saturday, along with their respective times and channels on NBC’s coverage platforms.

Cycling – Men’s Road Race (5 a.m., NBC): Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins rang in the start of Friday’s Opening Ceremonies, and now he’ll look to trade in the yellow jersey for a gold medal. In a guest column for the Guardian, Wiggins called the British team, which includes possible favorite Mark Cavendish, perhaps “the strongest team ever in an Olympic road race.” On Friday, Wiggins bashed the International Cycling Union for allowing French track specialist Mickael Bourgain to compete in Saturday’s road race.

Shooting – Women’s 10-meter Air Rifle, Men’s 10-meter Pistol (6 a.m., NBC Sports; 10:30 a.m., Streaming): Malaysian Nur Suryani Mohammed Taibi is making headlines worldwide not because she’s a favorite for gold, but because she’s competing despite being eight months pregnant. Taibi said she’ll ask her baby-to-be to “behave yourself” when she toes the line in the 10-meter air rifle competition.

Judo – Women’s 48 kg, Men’s 60 kg (11 a.m., Streaming): Japan’s Tomoko Fukumi and Haruna Asami were the top two qualifiers in the women’s 48 kg class and one of the two likely will walk away with the gold. In the men’s 60 kg, two-time world champion Rishod Sobirov of Uzbekistan won bronze in Beijing and tops a wide-open field.

Weightlifting – Women’s 48 kg (10:30 a.m.)

Swimming (Prime time, NBC)

Men’s 400-meter Individual Medley (2:30 p.m.): Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte renew one of the sport’s great rivalries. Phelps won gold and Lochte took bronze in Beijing, but “The Lochenator” believes his time has come.

“I just know that I’m ready,” Lochte said Thursday. “I had a four-year plan. This is the year that I’m putting everything into it . . . I’m not going for silver or bronze. I’m going for gold . . . This is the big show. This is what I’ve been working for.”

Read Amy Shipley’s full race preview here.

Men’s 400-meter Freestyle (2:49 p.m.): Americans Peter Vanderkaay and Conor Dwyer will look to upend 2008 gold medalist Park Tae-Hwan of South Korea.

Women’s 400-meter Individual Medley (3:09 p.m.): Defending gold medalist Stephanie Rice of Australia leads a field that includes American Elizabeth Beisel and 22-year-old British hopeful Hannah Miley.

Women’s 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay (3:40 p.m.): Is Missy Franklin this year’s Michael Phelps? The 17-year-old high school senior begins her pursuit of seven medals in an event the Australians have owned the past two Olympics.

Fencing – Women’s Individual Foil (2:45 p.m, MSNBC): Three-time defending gold medalist Valentina Vezzali of Italy carried her nation’s flag during Friday’s Parade of Nations. Today she’ll look to make it four in a row.

Archery – Men’s Team (5:45 p.m., NBC Sports): South Korean Im Dong-hyun broke his own mark in the 72-arrow event Friday to help his team set the first world record of the London Games. Oh by the way, Im is legally blind and can see only blurred colors and lines when he sets his sights on the target down range. Im, 26, is aiming for his third straight gold medal in the team competition.

South Korea's Im Dong-hyun's aim was true in Friday's preliminary rounds. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

Best of the rest

Women’s Soccer – U.S. vs. Colombia (Noon, NBC Sports)

Women’s Basketball - U.S. vs. Croatia (11:45 a.m., NBC)

Women’s Volleyball - U.S. vs. South Korea (3 p.m, NBC)

Table Tennis – Preliminary rounds (9 a.m., 2 p.m. MSNBC)

View Saturday’s full slate of events here.

From press row at the Opening Ceremonies

 

 

 

 

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