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London 2012 Olympics: Jungle fever strikes at dressage

Mark Alford's Goggle Eyes: Jungle fever strikes at the dressage



21:00 GMT, 9 August 2012

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Dressage riders pick their own
performance music and GB bronze medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer selected
‘Hakuna Matata’ from Disney’s The Lion King.

And if that wasn’t funny enough,
co-commentator Judy Harvey uttered the line: ‘Let’s hope she lives up to
the words of the song: Hakuna Matata. It means no worries.’ Judy cannot
have kept a straight face.

No worries: Laura Bechtolsheimer riding Mistral Hojris in the individual dressage

No worries: Laura Bechtolsheimer riding Mistral Hojris in the individual dressage


Dramatic stuff in the heats of the 4x400m relay. Great Britain raced to a stunning win thanks to 20-year-old Jack Green’s inspired third lap.

Jamaica did not finish (injury) and Oscar Pistorius’s South Africa were out after one of his team-mates was forced off the track. They were later reinstated.

Viewers of the main BBC1 feed missed it all, though, it was live on BBC3.


Taekwondo, where have you been all our lives A sport that rewards kicks to the head. The Brits are good at it and there’s on-screen scores — unlike the boxing!

Talking of boxing, why all the fuss about women boxers Taekwondo is brutal and the women get stuck right in.

Getting stuck in: Great Britain's Jade Jones (red) in taekwondo action

Getting stuck in: Great Britain's Jade Jones (red) in taekwondo action


BMX: It was an eclectic afternoon of coverage, switching between dressage and BMX. Greenwich may have had the medals but the bikes had the thrills and spills.

Delectable presenter Helen Skelton said: ‘There’s only one word to describe this event: absolute carnage.’ Er, isn’t that two


The 10km swim: It’s becoming a daily gripe but the Olympic Broadcast Service’s coverage of outside events is woeful. As Keri-Anne Payne was racing at the head of the field in the open-water swim, the director cut to the battle for 25th. Criminal.


Lucy O’Conner, women’s boxing: Timely contributions to the frenetic action. Talks sense and talks quickly.

Steve Cram, athletics: Once a top athlete, now a top coach and pundit. Carries huge weight of authority.

John Cullen, taekwondo: ‘It helps if you’re fluent in Korean,’ said John, which was far from helpful because no-one was. Minority sports need jargon busters.

London 2012 Olympics: Clare Balding is BBC"s best presenter – Mark Alford"s Goggle Eyes

Mark Alford's Goggle Eyes: Balding leads the way when comes to BBC anchors



22:13 GMT, 8 August 2012

An emerging rule of these Games is that if Clare Balding’s anchoring an event, it must be important. Wednesday she brought her enthusiasm and knowledge to Greenwich for the showjumping. It’s between Clare and Gary Lineker for the Beeb’s best in show.

Magic moment

Pride of Yorkshire Nicola Adams, from Leeds, was interviewed after reaching today’s women’s flyweight boxing final. She melted hearts when she said: ‘All I want to do is make my mum proud.’

Fight star: Nicola Adams beat India's Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte

Fight star: Nicola Adams beat India's Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte

Thumbs up for…

STAYING WITH BACKMARKERS: The director at the athletics resisted the urge to cut away from the action after the winners crossed the line in the 800 metres heats. Viewers saw three uplifting stories as a result. First, tearful Merve Aydin from Turkey hobbled home more than a minute after the field. Then Palestinian Woroud Sawalha, in a white hijab, ran a personal best time. And finally, Sarah Attar, the first Saudi woman to compete in athletics at the Olympics (left), trailed home. Top television.

Thumbs down for…

TALKING NOT SHOWING: Matt Baker was waxing lyrical about Flying Dutchman Epke Zonderland, who took gold on the high bar with an outrageous routine. The footage has become an internet sensation but the main BBC1 feed failed to show it at any point throughout the day.

Gold: Epke Zonderland's routine became an internet sensation

Gold: Epke Zonderland's routine became an internet sensation

Corner cam

Boxing coverage has rightly been criticised for not carrying on-screen scores during bouts — it still rankles! But praise is due for the camera and microphone bringing us the cornermen’s briefings between rounds. Fascinating stuff.

The Pundits' podium

GOLD: Andy Austin, showjumping: Same course, lots of different horses — it’s a tough job making it sound exciting but Austin and main commentator Mike Tucker do just that. Flawless.

SILVER: Brendan Foster, athletics: As passionate as ever. ‘Mo Farah, Olympic champion. I just love saying it,’ said Foster. We love hearing it, keep up the good work.

BRONZE: Jamie Staff, BMX: Impressed at the Velodrome but his ‘woop that time’ cry was a low point at the BMX track.

Jolly hockey sticks

The best thing on TV The thrilling women’s hockey semi-final penalty shootout in which Holland beat New Zealand. Each player was given eight seconds to beat the goalkeeper. Look and learn, football, this was proper drama.