Armchair Pundit

Hyde Park: Venue scoreboard

Alex Chick

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HYDE PARK (men's 10km open-water swim)

ACCESSIBILITY/FACILITIES: 9/10 - Hyde Park offered the best opportunities to watch for free in the triathlon and open-water swimming. I went on the quietest day, with no major British hopes in the 10km swim - though Dan Fogg came an impressive fifth. Nevertheless, thousands turned out and were stacked several deep on the south shore of The Serpentine. Paying spectators might have been unimpressed to find themselves further from the water than the freeloaders, as stands were placed behind a large carpeted area.

VIEW: 6/10 - The nature of the sport is that you don't see a lot as a pack of tightly bunched swimmers splash their way around the course. If you were back in the throng, you may well have seen next to nothing. But this was one venue where the thrill of attending an Olympic event counted for more than the view.

FANS: 8/10 - By all accounts the triathlons and women's 10km were absolutely mental - but I have to judge it on what I saw. There was not much fervour, but plenty of people decked out in flags just enjoying a trip to the Olympics on a beautifyl day in Hyde Park.

SPECTACLE: 5/10 - The setting was a picture, but as explained above open water swimming is not much of a spectator sport.

X-FACTOR: 8/10 - Along with beach volleyball, the Hyde Park events have brought a much-needed Olympic blast to central London. Throw in the free element, and you've got a winner.

TOTAL SCORE: 36/50 - populist.

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