B R I E F S
Painful not to
Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie admitted Sunday that it was ‘painful’ not to be competing at the London Olympics, but held out hope he could make the Rio Games in four years’ time. Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic and four-time world 10,000m champion, failed to progress from an Ethiopian qualifying trial in Hengelo in May and was omitted from his country’s team. To add to his woes, the 39-year-old had already also failed to post a qualifying time for the marathon in what would have been his fifth Olympics. ‘It’s very painful not to be running here after all I have achieved,’ Gebrselassie said. ‘The only thing I don’t like here in London is that I’m not running here. I’m sorry for that.’ He added: ‘Hopefully I’ll be running for the next four years and you’ll see me in Brazil. Why not?!’ Gebrselassie backed compatriot and former teammate Kenenisa Bekele to win the 10,000m from a clutch of Kenyan rivals and British hope Mo Farah. ‘I say Bekele for the 10K,’ he said, warning that Bekele would prefer a fast pace. ‘The 10,000m depends on the pace. If the pace is slow, you could say Mo Farah.’ Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, winner of this year’s London marathon, got his nod as gold medal favourite in the 42.195km-long race. — AFP, London
The elaborate cauldron at the Olympics opening ceremony, which had been extinguished while it was relocated to another part of the stadium on Sunday, was relit at 7am (0600 GMT) on Monday. The Olympic cauldron—which traditionally burns for the entirety of each Games—was seen unlit within the Olympic Stadium at 11.14pm (2214 GMT) late Sunday. Jackie Brock-Doyle, director of communications for the London Olympics organisers confirmed to AFP the cauldron had been put out in order to allow it to be moved to a different part of the venue. ‘The cauldron has been put out while we move it to another part of the stadium,’ Brock-Doyle told AFP. The Olympic flame was kept burning in a lantern used during the torch relay, she added. The cauldron was positioned in the centre of the Olympic Stadium before being lit by seven young athletes in the climax to last Friday’s opening ceremony.
— AFP, London
‘I was robbed of
Angry Brazilian boxer Robson Conceicao claimed he was robbed of victory on Sunday because his Olympic Games opponent was Briton Josh Taylor in their lightweight first round encounter. The Brazilian lost the fight 13-9, having trailed in every round, but he believed he had clearly been the superior fighter and had lost because of home bias, although all five judges are neutral. ‘It is unfair. They’re (the judges) ruining my job,’ he said. ‘But this happened because he is from here.’ Taylor, a former British taekwondo champion before taking up boxing, admitted there was already bad blood between them when they sparred together last week in a training camp for Brazilian and British boxers. ‘You could say it got pretty tasty,’ said the 21-year-old Scot, who had been especially annoyed during the sparring session by Conceicao holding his arms up and taunting him that he was the better fighter. ‘I did hold back a bit because it was before the draw and I didn’t know whether I would face him or not. Little did I know I would,’ added Taylor, who next faces top Italian and third seed Domenico Valentino in the next round. — AFP, London
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