Olympics 2012: What to Watch Friday

Highlights from Thursday's action, plus what's worth watching today
Staff Writer

Because the Olympics are too HUGE to watch them all...we're breaking down each day’s broadcast coverage to bring you an action-packed daily blueprint that is sure to capture the drama and pageantry, the inspiring successes and (hilarious, we hope) disappointments that make the Olympics so special. So grab the remote control, pull up an easy chair and let the games begin!

WHAT HAPPENED THURSDAY
Gymnast Gabby Douglas won the women's gymnastics all-around title, joining Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patteron and Nastia Liukin as just the fourth American woman to do so.

Michael Phelps evened the score with teammate Ryan Lochte, edging him out by 0.63 seconds in the 200m IM and winning gold. Lochte won silver.

Slovaks Pavol and Peter Horschorner were upset in men's whitewater canoe doulbes (C-2) by Brits Tim Baillie and Scott Etienne. The Horschorners won bronze, and another British team took silver.

American Tyler Cary raced to gold in the 200m backstroke only half a second ahead of teammate and bronze medalist Ryan Lochte.

Rebecca Soni set a world record of 2:19.59 on her way to winning gold in the 200m breaststroke.

WHAT TO WATCH FRIDAY
Track and Field—Women's 10K (4:30pm, NBC)

Twenty-five laps around thet track isn't everyone's idea of an exciting race, but there's plenty of time to see race strategies and drama unfold. Americans Janet Bawcom and Amy Hastings narrowly missed making the marathon team and will seek retribution in this race. Lisa Uhl will join them in pursuit of stacked African squads that include reigning Olympic champ Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and Kenyans Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai.

Track & Field—Men's Shot Put (8pm-12am, NBC)
The six farthest throws in the world this year among men’s shot putters are all by Americans. Christian Cantwell is the leader with a throw of 73 feet, 2.5 inches, but teammate Reese Hoffa has been the most consistent, and is responsible for the next three best, including a top mark of 73 feet, 2.25 inches. Ryan Whiting has a good chance to medal, too.

Cycling—Men's Team Pursuit (4-4:15pm, NBC)
 Great Britain is the team to watch in this event, having broken its own world record in qualifying rounds. Chief rivals Australia are ranked second headed into the final, which should make for some fireworks on the track.

Swimming—Finals Galore…again (8pm-12am, NBC)
There are four finals tonight as the swimming competition starts winding down, making way in primetime for track & field. Plan on watching the lightning-fast men's 50m freestyle (American Cullen Jones qualified with the same top time as Brazil's Cesar Cielo), the men's 100m butterfly (in which Phelps is the world record holder and top-ranked) and the women's 200m backstroke (where Elizabeth Biesel and Missy Franklin are seeded 1-2, respectively).

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