Legends, crashes, and blowouts: Olympic events to watch on Thursday

Plus a recap of Wednesday's highs and lows

Canada's men's eight rowing team member Will Crothers celebrates (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Women’s eight go for gold:

Canada’s first silver medal in London came from the men’s eight rowing team, and the women are looking to move one step up on the podium. Led by coxwain Lesley Thompson-Willie, who is competing in her seventh Olympic games, the women’s eight had the fastest qualifying time for the finals. Their main competition will be next to them in lane three, the United States. A medal looks like a sure thing, but will “O Canada” finally get to be played in England?

Approximate time to watch: Rowing women’s eight final – CTV 7:30 a.m. Eastern/4:30 a.m. Pacific

Update: Canada wins silver, while the U.S. takes gold.

The 200m IM swim showdown:

Michael Phelps  is now the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. But although he’s won three medals so far in London, he has yet to win gold in an individual event. (His one gold came in the 4x200m freestyle relay with Team USA). Phelps came fourth in the 400m individual medley earlier in the week, and then lost gold by fingertips in his signature event, the 200m butterfly, to South African Chad le Clos.

Joining Phelps and le Clos in the 200m individual medley is American Ryan Lochte, this year’s gold medalist in the same event of twice the length. He’ll be looking to be the next big name in swimming if he returns with another gold. Phelps, however, won’t want to back his way into history with second and third place finishes. A win will further solidify his legacy.

Approximate time to watch: Men’s 200m IM final – CTV 3:15 p.m. Eastern/12:15 p.m. Pacific

Big spills:

Concussions. Broken bones. Too scared to make the jump. What could we be talking about except equestrian? Fans adore this sport for its danger as much as its beauty. The slippery grounds have caused many horses to lose their footing and the hurdle combinations are so tough that many top breed horses outright refuse to attempt the jumps. Sure, equestrian headlines so far have been dominated by the royalty (the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips, who won silver in team eventing) and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who owns a horse in the competition, but non-elites are guaranteed to get hooked on the sport as well.

Approximate time to watch: Equestrian – OLN 6:00 a.m. Eastern/3:00 a.m. Pacific

Wimbledon remix:

Olympic tennis is coming down to the wire. The men and women are at the quarter-finals, meaning the elite are on the verge of facing each other once again. Wimbledon champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams have breezed through the competition to this point, and look to move into the final four. Other legends pushing for gold include Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters. Britain will be behind their favorite tennis son, Andy Murray, who fell to tears after losing in this year’s Wimbledon final to Federer. A gold medal for Murray and the UK would produce a different reason to cry.

Approximate time to watch: Tennis – CTV Morning and afternoon. Starts at 8:00 a.m. Eastern/5:00 a.m. Pacific.

This could get ugly:

Team USA’s star-studded basketball team already ran over a decent French team by 27 points and then followed that with a 110-63 thrashing of Tunisia. Next up: Nigeria. Al-Farouq Aminu is Nigeria’s only NBA player, and he comes off the bench to play for the New Orleans Hornets. This isn’t a good match-up against Kobe Bryant or Lebron James. Will the Americans take it easy on them? The American women didn’t let up too much on Angola a few days ago, allowing only 38 points over the entire game (winning 90-38).

Approximate time to watch: Men’s Basketball USA v. Nigeria – NBC (not live) 5:15 p.m. Eastern/ 2:15 p.m. Pacific

Wednesday’s Recap:

High: Canada won its first silver medal in the men’s eight rowing. The world record holders finished one second behind the gold-winning Germans. Considering Canada’s amazing rush for bronze at London 2012, with a tally of four third place finishes already, it’s nice to see a different colour up on the medal count.

Brent Hayden also made amends from four years ago, when he failed to make the 100m freestyle finals in Beijing. This year, he swam to a bronze medal. He’ll have time to celebrate tonight, but happier days are ahead; Hayden is getting married in just a few weeks.

(Very, very) Low: Eight badminton players (four from China, two from S. Korea, two from Indonesia) have been disqualified from the tournament for match fixing. In a double match between China and S. Korea, both teams were obviously trying to lose the match to have a more favourable opponent for the knockout stage. The elite badminton players fail to get their serves into play on many consecutive attempts, as seen in this video, while the referee and other officials warned them of the impact if they did not compete. The warnings did nothing, as China earned their loss while the fans booed throughout. The players were then booed off the court. China hoped to avoid playing the other Chinese duo in the semi-finals, and the loss would guarantee they could only meet in the final. Now they all go home without a medal, and disgracing the sport.

Time to drink: When UK cyclist Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France a few weeks ago, British media were already saying the man should be knighted. Wiggins told media he couldn’t even go out for a celebratory drink because the Olympics were a few weeks away in his home country. In the men’s individual time trial, the cyclist crushed the competition, beating the silver medal winner by more than 40 seconds. A Tour de France and a record seven Olympic medals for the UK will surely peak royalty’s interest when considering new members for knighthood. But for tonight, Wiggins go can finally pop the bottle of Champagne.

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