London Spy

  • Man mountain makes big impact at Olympics

    34st 5lb Ricardo Blas Jr walks into the judo arenaJudo fans at Excel were greeted by an astonishing sight on Friday morning as the heaviest Olympian at London 2012 went head to head with another of the heaviest competitors at the Games.

    Guam's Ricardo Blas Jr, who tips the scales at 34st 5lb, took to the arena against relative lightweight Facinet Keita of Guinea in the heavyweight category, open only to judoka weighing over 16 stone 4 lbs.

    Blas is over 10 stone heavier than the next biggest competitor at the Games. Even more amazingly, he weighs nearly seven stone more than the entire Japanese women's gymnastics team.

    So what happened when

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  • German rower quits Games over ‘Neo-Nazi’ boyfriend

    Germany's Nadja DrygallaGerman rower Nadja Drygalla has left the Olympic village after it emerged that her boyfriend was a far-right extremist.

    The German Olympic Committee said Drygalla - who had already finished competing at the Games as part of the women's rowing eight - left of her own accord after a 90-minute conversation German officials.

    German officials did not go into the reasons for her departure, referring only to findings on the athlete's " private environment", but German media reported that the 23-year-old former police officer was suspected of sympathising with right-wing extremist ideology.


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  • Dopey US star almost misses record frenzy

    Team USA's record-breaking 156-73 win over Nigeria (no, that's not a misprint) on Thursday featured many notable performances, including a torrent of three-pointers and the sort of crushing triumph we tend to associate with the 1992 Dream Team.

    Records were knocked down with extreme regularity, the most eyecatching being the total US score which surpassed the previous Olympic record - the 138 scored by Brazil against Egypt in the 1988 Games.

    It was the kind of game in which pretty much everyone got in on the fun, because the score was always absurd enough that each player could get his fair

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  • Ainslie fury after Olympic rivals ‘gang up’ on him

    Ben Ainslie did his best Incredible Hulk impression at London 2012 as he accused two rivals of ganging up on him to stop him winning a fourth Olympic gold medal.

    Ainslie managed a first and third place to close the gap on Finn class leader Jonas Hogh-Christensen to three points - but there was plenty of acrimony after the Dane and Dutchman Pieter-Jan Postma managed to get the Briton handed a penalty.

    "Basically he and the Dutch guy teamed up to claim I hit the mark," said Ainslie, who had to do a penalty turn as a result.

    "It seriously p****d me off because I didn't, but there was not much I

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  • Lithuanian fan arrested for making monkey chants – report

    Lithuania's fans during the Group A basketball match against Argentina (AFP)

    Undercover police have reportedly arrested a Lithuanian fan for alleged 'monkey chants' during an Olympic basketball game against Nigeria.

    From the very start of the men's basketball tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, fans of Lithuania's national team have seemed louder, more energetic and more engaged than backers of any other national side in the competition, drawing comparisons to the sort of jacked-up partisan crowds you might see at the World Cup or a major European club football match.

    They have, by and large, been sensational representatives for a hoops-crazed country

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  • Great Britain's gold medal hero Philip Hindes has courted controversy by admitting he deliberately crashed in the first round of the team sprint.

    Hindes, along with Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny, triumphed in the competition at the velodrome on Thursday night as they defeated France with a world record time of 42.600.

    However, in the first round, Hindes's front wheel skidded and he deliberately brought his bike to ground in order to allow Britain to restart.

    Cycling rules state that in the case of an early crash, a team can restart their race, and it is believed that no action can or will be

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  • As the United States' flag rose in the London ExCel Centre, the country's first judo gold medallist Kayla Harrison broke down in tears as the enormity of her achievement in overcoming child sex abuse to become an Olympic champion sank in.

    "I was kind of reflecting back on my life and everything that it's taken to get here and everything I've gone through and everything that everyone in my family has sacrificed," she said.

    "It's not every four years, it's every day. I'm so honoured to be America's first gold medallist and happy to have realised my dream. I'm America's first Olympic gold

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  • Deceased uncle inspires gold medal triumph

    The man-made rapids of the Lee Valley White Water Centre are a world away from the raging torrents of the Himalayas but British canoe slalom winner Tim Baillie said on Thursday his late uncle's expeditions to the wilderness had been inspirational.

    Baillie and C2 partner Etienne Stott became the first Britons to win an Olympic gold medal in canoe slalom, beating compatriots David Florence and Richard Hounslow into second place with Slovakian greats Pavol and Peter Hochschorner third.

    "He inspired me," said the 33-year-old whose previous Olympics experience was as a canoe coach to the New

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  • Controversy leaves cyclists in a spin

    The opening day of cycling action at the Velodrome was a controversial one at the Olympics, leaving world record breakers distraught and champions down in the dumps.

    The drama started when hotly-fancied home heroes Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were disqualified from the women's team sprint.

    After breaking the world record in the heats, only to be immediately surpassed by China's pair, the two Brits made an illegal changeover in their semi-final victory over Ukraine.

    Coach Dave Brailsford protested with officials at the Velodrome as fierce debate ensued, leaving onlookers and

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  • Referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov from Turkmenistan has been expelled from the London Olympics the International Boxing Association (AIBA) said on Thursday.

    Meretnyyazov failed to stop a men's bantamweight bout on Wednesday despite one fighter being knocked down six times in the final round.

    He was expelled with immediate effect and AIBA said he was on his way home.

    A second referee, Frank Scharmach of Germany, was suspended for five days by AIBA and a technical official from Azerbaijan sent home.

    "I deeply regret that we had to take these decisions," AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo said in a

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