The Rundown

Top Five bizarre sporting venues

The Rundown

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It seemed like London had pushed the boat out a couple of
months ago when the pink-and-blue pitches to be used for the hockey tournament
were revealed.

But that colour selection turned out to be the model of
tasteful restraint compared to the shooting venue.

Organisers have released these bizarre pictures of the
intended makeover for the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, which will hide
the venue's stunning Georgian architecture behind what can only be described as
a giant sugar cube with measles.

The bizarre design of the venue prompts our look at the
wackiest venues ever to be used for sport.

5. Football on a
floating wooden pitch, Panyee, Thailand

The football-mad islanders of Panyee had one problem back
in the 1980s: they loved football but their tiny, rocky island had no space
for a pitch. So they built a wooden pitch
on water which floated next to their fishing boats - and put them on the road
to becoming one of Thailand's most successful football clubs.

4. Tennis on the helipad
of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai

One of the most famous publicity stunts of all time, Roger Federer
and Andre Agassi faced up in a tennis match played on the helipad.

At 300m above the water, you can hardly blame them for not
chasing the ball around too hard - and being pretty careful about it when they
looked over the side.


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3. Horse racing in
the Piazza del Campo, Siena

The stunning medieval city of Siena is lit up each summer by
the Palio, a horse race held on the fiercely banked, cobbled streets.

The race in its current format dates back to 1651, and the
rules have scarcely changed since then: 10 jockeys ride bareback around the
square representing different Contrade (districts within the city) - a madcap dash which usually lasts just a minute and a half.

A thick layer of dirt is spread on the surface of the square
to try to protect the jockeys and horses against falls, but injuries are common
- not that surprising when you consider that jockeys are allowed to push, shove
and even hit each other and their horses during the race.

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2. Squash at Grand
Central Station, New York

The annual JP Morgan Tournament of Champions has become a
regular annual fixture in the Vanderbilt Hall at one of New York City's busiest
railway stations.

A glass court is installed in the station, in which the
game's best players take part in the tournament - allowing an estimated 150,000
commuters to catch a bit of the action as they travel to and from work.

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1. Golf on the Moon

Alan Shepard is one of the most distinguished astronauts in history. A distinguished fighter jet test pilot who moved to NASA, he was
the second person (and the first American) in space before retiring as a rear
admiral in 1974.

But he will always be most famous for pulling off the
ultimate prank in 1971 on his last trip to space: he snuck the head of a
six-iron on board Apollo 14 (of which he was commander) and, once in space,
attached it to the handle of a lunar scoop. Once on the moon he used his
makeshift club to hit two one-handed golf shots, one of which he mishit while he connected nicely with the other.

Shepard joked that the shot flew "miles and miles and
miles", and although that was an exaggeration estimates suggest that he could
easily have hit the ball in excess of 500 yards.

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