London Spy

  • Idowu at the 2011 Worlds in Daegu

    Phillips Idowu has won everything there is to win in athletics except a gold medal at the Olympics.

    The 33-year-old has amassed an outstanding array of major indoor and outdoor triple jump gold medals in his career so far.

    His first came at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and he proved his pedigree again by winning the European indoor title in 2007.

    That was soon followed by world indoor gold in Spain in 2008, although later that year he had to settle for silver at the Beijing Olympics.

    Idowu learned from the experience and bounced back to produce a personal best jump on his

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  • Venue guide: Hampton Court

    Where is it?: East Molesey, Surrey.

    Find it on the map: Here

    How do you get there?: Bus or train are probably your best options. Car is also possible of course, as the palace is on the A308, around 12 miles south-west of central London, and is well signposted, but parking is limited. As regards buses, the 111, 216, 411, 461, R68, 267 and 513 routes pass next to the palace; for rail, South-West Trains run a service direct to Hampton Court, which takes around 35 minutes from London's Waterloo station. The palace is then 200 metres from the station.

    What events will be held there and when?: Road

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  • Sport guide: Sailing

    Ainslie celebrates Finn gold in Beijing


    Like rowing, sailing was cancelled at the 1896 Games because of bad weather. It was also dropped from the 1904 Games but resumed in 1908 and has been included in the programme ever since.

    The London Games will feature six events for men and four for women. The 470, Laser and RS:X are for both genders. The 470 is a light and manoeuvrable 470cm long dinghy with two crew members. The Laser is the most popular one-person sailing boat in the world although women will race the Laser Radial which has a reduced sail area and a shorter mast. The RS:X is a windsurfing board.

    Only men

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  • Olympic history: Montreal 1976

    If one of the reasons for taking the 1976 Games to Montreal rather than to Moscow or Los Angeles was to avoid possible boycotts it didn't quite work.

    A number of African nations stayed away, and a few more pulled out during the proceedings, in protest at the presence of New Zealand, whose rugby union team had undertaken a tour of South African earlier in the year.

    But while numbers of nations and competitors were down on Munich, costs were up, partly because of the need for increased security but also because the Canadians were considered, not least by their own taxpayers, to have spent rather

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  • Argentina defends Falklands advert

    Argentina has said a controversial advert ahead of the London 2012 Games which described the Falkland Islands as "Argentine soil" was not designed to antagonise Britain.

    Foreign Secretary William Hague has described the advert - which features Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg running through Port Stanley and has a tagline of "to compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil" - as a stunt.

    The advert has provoked such a strong reaction as it also features Zylberberg exercising on the town's Great War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in World War I.

    The ad

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  • Argentina Olympic ad sparks fury

    Argentina has risked stirring up political controversy with Britain ahead of the Olympics by broadcasting a video of an athlete training on the disputed Falkland Islands which it describes as "Argentine soil".

    "To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil," is the slogan closing the advert aired on Wednesday night with Fernando Zylberberg of the Argentine men's hockey team on a training run past several landmarks on the British-held islands.

    Controversy is already raging about the advert, with The Sun's front page on Friday accusing Argentina of "dancing on our graves", referring to

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  • Venue guide: Millennium Stadium

    If the weather's bad, don't panic - just close the roof!Where is it?: Westgate Street, Cardiff.

    How do you get there?: As the stadium is situated right in the centre of Cardiff, public transport — rail or bus — is definitely your best bet. Cardiff Central railway and bus stations are only five minutes' walk away. There will be a park-and-ride service if you do decide to travel by car to the Welsh capital for the Games.

    Capacity: 74,500.

    What events will be held there and when?: Football (July 25, 26, 28, 31, August 1, 3, 4 and 10).

    Public facilities: There are 27 bars and 15 food and drink outlets in the stadium.

    History: Wales' national stadium,

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  • Stevenson with Beijing bronze

    It is testament to Sarah Stevenson's character that, amidst a horrific year of personal loss, she was able to claim gold at the 2011 World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea.

    Both of Stevenson's parents were diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses just weeks before her triumph in the welterweight division at the world championships in May. In October, Stevenson's mother passed away, just three months after her father died.

    She has made no secret of her desire to win gold at the Olympics in memory of her parents, and the top of the podium is within the reach of the Doncaster talent, who

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  • Venue guide: Riverbank Arena

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

    How do you get there?: Located next to the River Lea — hence its name — in the Olympic Park. The park 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: 16,300.

    What events will be held there and when?: Hockey (July 29-August 11).

    Public facilities: There will be food and drink

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  • Where are they now? Derek Redmond

    One of the most enduring images of the Olympics

    Derek Redmond will forever be remembered as the athlete who broke down in Barcelona and was helped to the finish line by his father.

    Having powered through the two previous heats, Redmond was confident that he had overcome injury problems which included eight Achilles operations in the run-up to the 1992 Olympics and also caused him to miss the 1988 Games in Seoul.

    But heading down the back straight in his semi-final, he felt his hamstring snap.

    "I heard a funny pop, which I thought was a noise from the crowd," Redmond told Eurosport. "It was my hamstring going and over the next two or three

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