London Spy

  • Where are they now? Roger Black

    The peak of Roger Black's career saw him finish second behind Michael Johnson in the 400m final at the 1996 Olympics. Here he tells Eurosport why it remains such a momentous time in his life.

    Roger Black with his 400m and 4x400m relay medalsBlack takes silver behind 'Golden Shoes'

    Roger Black was used to the taste of gold by the time he arrived in Atlanta. The British sprinter had collected a mixture of silver and gold from the 400m and the 4x400m relays amid several appearances at the Commonwealth Games, European Championships and World Championships.

    A bronze was also procured from the 4x400m relay at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, but

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  • Trott (centre) celebrates team pursuit gold at the Track Cycling World Cup in the Olympic Velodrome

    Laura Trott may have timed her ascent through Team GB's cycling ranks at just the right time to emerge as Britain's outstanding new Olympics starlet.

    She will be only 20 by the start of the Games, but Trott's remarkable development over the past year-and-a-half has led to many tipping her as a medal hopeful at her first Games.

    As recently as 2010, Trott's Olympic ambitions centred on a likely debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. However, her first senior European Championships gold medal in the team pursuit in November 2010 cranked up her expectations, and the Hertfordshire ace then

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  • Venue guide: BMX track

    Where is it?: Olympic Park, Stratford, East London.

    How do you get there?: The track is situated next to the Velodrome to the north of the Olympic Park, which can be reached by rail, underground, Docklands Light Railway, bus or coach. National Rail, London Underground and DLR all serve Stratford station to the east of the park and West Ham station to the south, while Transport for London has bus stops in the area and there will be coach services to the park.

    Capacity: 6,000.

    What events will be held there and when?: BMX cycling (August 8-10).

    Public facilities: To be shared with the Basketball

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  • Beach volleyball outfits to get less skimpy

    Female beach volleyball players will be allowed to wear less revealing clothes at the London Olympics should they wish after the rules on clothing were relaxed.

    The changes have come about as a move to respect the cultural and religious beliefs of competing nations.

    The sport has gained notoriety in previous Olympics for the women's skimpy bikinis or body suits, which have been mandatory for participants.

    But Federation spokesman Richard Baker insisted that the rule change was necessary.

    "Many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements," Baker said, "so the uniform needed to

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  • Olympic sport guide: Gymnastics

    Nadia Comaneci's floor routine in Moscow

    OVERVIEW:

    Gymnastics has been part of the Olympics agenda since the first Games in 1896 and has produced some of the most prolific medallists largely because of the number of events in which an athlete can compete.

    Artistic gymnastics is the ever-present version of the sport. Rhythmic gymnastics was added in 1984 and trampoline became part of the programme in 2000.

    The men's artistic events include floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bars. Women compete on the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor. Medals are also awarded for the best teams and

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  • Olympic history: Helsinki 1952

    Emil Zatopek storms to yet another gold in the 5000m

    Paavo Nurmi runs with the Olympic flameHelsinki was a Games of comebacks — for post-war outcasts Germany and Japan, for Russia in the guise of the Soviet Union and for Paavo Nurmi.

    The legendary Finnish distance runner, who won nine gold medals and three silvers before being banned from the 1932 Olympics, returned as torch bearer when the Games arrived in his homeland.

    Nurmi completed one circuit of the track and then handed the torch to Hannes Kolehmainen, veteran of the 1912 and 1920 Games and the first of the Flying Finns, who climbed up the steps to light the flame at the top of the tower.

    Fittingly, the hero of these Games

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  • Showjumper set to make Saudi history

    Reports suggest Saudi Arabia is considering sending a female to compete in the Olympics for the first time.

    The strict Middle Eastern country - which prohibits girls from taking part in sport at school, or watching sport in stadiums - has always sent male-only delegations to the Olympics.

    However, that much-criticised stance could be set to change at London 2012 with The Times reporting on Monday that showjumper Dalma Malhas may break new ground.

    Malhas won bronze at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore but only attended the competition after a direct invitation from the International Olympic

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  • British Olympic kit ‘mistake’ – experts

    The lack of red in Britain's Stella McCartney-designed official team kit for the London Olympics could leave some athletes feeling blue, as well as irritating the Welsh.

    University professor and sports psychologist Robert Barton, co-author of a 2005 report that demonstrated how athletes performed better in red colours, feared the predominance of blue could backfire.

    "Given the effects that we and other scientists have found, it does seem like a mistake," the Durham University academic told the Guardian newspaper on Friday.

    England won the 1966 World Cup in red shirts and socks, their sole

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  • Heptathlete Jessica Ennis

    Stella McCartney has unveiled her designs for the kits that will be worn by the British team at the London Olympics.

    The Adidas kit was unveiled by over 30 British athletes at the Tower of London and was over two years in the making.

    According to the British Olympic Association's official press release the kit design "focused on the British flag, breaking down the iconic design and reconstructing it, creating a modern and contemporary twist."

    McCartney said: "The first place to start on a project like this is to look at the Union flag. For me it's one of the most beautiful flags in the world

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  • Venue guide: Basketball Arena

    Where is it?: Olympic Park, Stratford, East London.

    How do you get there?: The arena is located in the north of Olympic Park. It can be reached by rail, underground, Docklands Light Railway, bus or coach. National Rail, London Underground and DLR all serve Stratford station to the east of the park and West Ham station to the south, while Transport for London has bus stops in the area and there will be coaches direct to the park.

    Capacity: 12,000.

    What events will be held there and when?: Basketball (July 28-August 7), handball (August 8-12).

    Public facilities: To be shared with the Velodrome

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