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Liu must run in 12.95s to win gold: Haiping

»Liu Xiang must run within 12.95 seconds to win the men’s 110-metre hurdles at the London Olympics, his coach Sun Haiping said.

“It is difficult for him to take the gold, but I will try to make him in best form,” Sun was quoted as saying by ‘Xinhua’. “American Aries Merritt will be a tough opponent and Liu must try his best.”

Merritt has run in 12.93 three times in 2012. Liu’s best time this year was 12.97.
Earlier, Liu said he felt ‘most relaxed’ in London. “Compared with the Olympics in Athens and Beijing, I feel most relaxed in London,” Liu said before the opening ceremony of the 30th Olympiad.

“I have different feelings in attending the Olympics at different places,” he said, “In 2004, I wanted to go into the eighth one while I felt more pressure in 2008 in my own country.”
“I will be a success as long as I can enter the finals in London Olympics,” he said.
The men’s 110m hurdles in London Olympics will be held Aug 7-8.

More French power flowing to Britain

»Paris may not have won its bid to stage the 2012 Olympics, but France is doing its bit for the London games, supplying electricity through a 70 km-long under-sea link that has been upgraded just in time for Friday's opening ceremony.

The 90 million euro ($110.70 million) upgrade to the more than 25-year old power connection between Folkestone, England and Sangatte, France, was completed last week, after two years of work on the ageing and outage-prone cable link.

With a capacity of 2,000 MW, enough to supply the needs of 2 million people, the IFA 2000 connection started transporting electricity between Britain and France in 1986, plugging the British Isles to the continent's power grid for the first time.

British bookie refunds Olympic flame bets

»The perfectly kept surprise about who would light the Olympic cauldron caught out even the savvy British bookmakers.

So much so, that a leading oddsmaker is refunding all wagers because it was too tough for gamblers to guess the identity of the seven young athletes who had the honor Friday.
William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams says ‘the result was all but impossible to predict’.

Adams says the betting operator is giving back ‘a five-figure sum’ wagered by its clients.
Five-time rowing gold medalist Steve Redgrave was the longtime favorite. His role was carrying the torch into the Olympic Stadium to hand it to the seven young people.

There was also a late surge of wagers on former mile world record-holder Roger Bannister.

Cyclists arrested for breaking cordon

»London police said they arrested several members of an amateur cycling club who tried to pedal their way through the security cordon around the Olympic Park during the opening ceremony.

Officers scuffled with several pro-cycling activists yesterday as dozens of cyclists were blocked by police vans from proceeding, Scotland Yard said.
No serious injuries were reported.

The cyclists were identified as members of a monthly cycling event called “Critical Mass” that normally passes through the area, but a police order had prohibited the group from travelling into the Olympic Park area in east London during yesterday night’s opening ceremony.

Police said they would give the precise number of arrests later.
Separately, a small radical Islam group had planned a demonstration outside the Olympic Park to expose what it calls ‘the evil of the Olympics’ yesterday, but the protest was cancelled for no stated reason last week.

‘Hippy’ superstitions help Patience go for gold |

»Before British sailor Luke Patience begins his Olympic efforts he will go through a bizarre ritual he hopes will bring him closer to the ocean -- and by his own admission, it is a little bit ‘hippy’.

Patience, who is competing in the men's 470 class with Stuart Bithell, will head out of the athletes' accommodation in Weymouth on the eve of his opening sail and play out a superstition that might leave many of his fellow competitors baffled.

“I guess it's just a bit hippy, but I like to feel attached to the ocean so I go and smell and taste the water every night before any competition,” he said.

“But I am not a hippy,” he added before going on to detail another superstition that he hopes will bring him luck at the Games.

“I just carry round a beanbag man that looks like a frog,” he said. “It’s a little good luck charm and I carry it with me everywhere I go -- I wouldn't go anywhere without it now.”

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