BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra is to become the first UK radio station to broadcast commentaries on water polo and taekwondo this weekend.
The digital station is covering Olympic Test events as it gears up for covering this summer’s London 2012 games.
Sports Extra boasts commentaries on eight different sports this week, with others including hockey, rowing, baseball, rugby league, rugby union and cricket.
5 live and its sister station have faced criticism from commercial rival talkSPORT who have been complaining to the BBC Trust that the corporation’s sports stations focussed too much on football and other mainstream sports.
5 live Sports Extra editor, Simon Clancy, said: “I’m thrilled that we’re able to bring so much live sport to the audience and it underlines our commitment, not only to things like the County Championship and the Super League, but also Olympic sports such as taekwondo, rowing, hockey and water polo. It’s a massive year for sports like these and it’s very important that we’re able to reflect the growing interest as we head towards the Olympics.”
Reacting to the news that every GB water polo match this weekend will be live on Sports Extra, GB defender, Fiona McCann said: “It’s great news. It’s very important to help publicise the sport, as there will be a lot of interest around it during the Games. Many people in this country don’t even know the sport exists, so it’s a chance for the public to learn more about it and to hear how exciting it is.”