London calling



Royal pain in the ear: It's not such a Swede sound for allWorst seat of the Olympic Games so far? I might have been the one beside and in front of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden during his country’s handball game against Denmark. He was well up for it.

Aussies get bounce back: Pearson leads golden run

After being severely down in the dumps since the Olympics started, a shortage of medals leaving them a touch disconsolate, Australia has finally cheered up, thanks largely to hurdler Sally Pearson, cyclist Anna Mears and their K4 1,000 metres gold-winning team (which happened to include Illawarra’s pride and joy, David Smith).

What's in an Olympic name?: 26 letters to be precise but that's miles from the Max

His surname might be a Scrabble players dream, even if it would be tricky fitting it on the board, but does Iranian weightlifter Saeid Mohammadpourkarkaragh possess the longest surname in Olympic history?

Nope. That honour goes to the late Alpine skier from Liechtenstein, Max Emanuel Maria Alexander Vicot Bruno de la Santisima Trinidad y Todos los Santos von Hohenlohe Langenburg.

Pity the parents whose kids wanted his name on the back of their Alpine Skiing shirts.

Katie's high praise

“When you look back at the great ones in boxing, the Alis, they wanted to compete against the best. And that’s the same mentality Katie Taylor has. She is going to go down as one of the best boxers in history. Not just female boxers, the best boxers. She can do it all. She can box, she can fight, she is a true world champion.”

USA Boxing coach Basheer Abdullah – and that was before Taylor struck gold.

Draw a blank: Austrian woe

Austria might be better known for its Winter Olympic exploits, but still, the country’s sports minister, Norbert Darabos, is none too pleased with the performance of the team in London, not one of their 70 athletes winning a medal – the first time since the 1964 Games that has happened.

“The new law on promoting sports should ensure that Austria no longer produces Olympic tourists,” he said, announcing that funding would be withdrawn from those who performed poorly.

“We have to change the structures in time so that we can win medals in Rio, or else we will again be on the same level as Luxembourg – they won’t win anything in London either.”

Luxembourg: “Oi, leave us out of it.”

Hoooooooray for Carli Lloyd: New Jersey hails their hero

New Jersey’s Katie Taylor? That’d be Carli Lloyd after her two goals gave the United States a 2-1 win over Japan in the Olympic football final. Her local paper, the Star-Ledger, celebrated her success in some style.

Letting off steam: Belgian sent home after bender

The tired and and emotional gong goes to Belgian cyclist Gijs Van Hoecke. After he finished 15th in the omnium, he probably deserved a night out, but the Belgian Olympic Committee and the Royal Cycling Federation reckoned he had way too good a time, and sent him home.

“We deplore this incident,” they said, after Van Hoecke was photographed looking slightly the worse for wear. “I made a big mistake. I’m happy my parents didn’t tell me off. They understand that I needed this,” he said, before possibly hitting the town again.

Headline act: Bolt leads off

It can’t have been an easy decision for the Jamaican press to decide what should be their front page story on Thursday, but in the end they opted for their half-reasonable showing in the men’s 200 metres final – a “J’can trifecta” of medals, as The Gleaner put it.

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