Royal Mail's Olympic race to produce medallist stamps

Heptathlete Jess Ennis The 60p stamps feature images of the winning athletes during their competition or victory ceremony

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The GB gold rush has created a marathon task for Royal Mail, which is rushing out stamps in honour of each winner.

Royal Mail has promised to issue a stamp bearing the medallist's picture within 24 hours of the victory being secured.

A team of more than 100 people works against the clock to rush out the stamps, which are printed at six locations around the UK.

That means they can reach 500 post offices by lunchtime the day after a gold medal win - even on Sundays.

At least one of those branches is in the home town of each gold medal winner.

Some 4,700 branches will receive the gold medal stamps within a week from a 90-strong fleet of Royal Mail vehicles.

Weekend gold-rush

Once a gold is secured, Royal Mail officials have just one hour to review images submitted by official Olympic photographers Getty Images and select one to give to the eight-strong stamp design team in London.

On Sunday, Ben Ainslie had an emotional victory in the Men's Sailing Finn, and Andy Murray's win in his men's singles tennis final Wimbledon rematch against Roger Federer took the tally to 16.

So far, the stamps show:

  • Helen Glover and Heather Stanning - Women's Pair Rowing
  • Bradley Wiggins - Men's Cycling Individual Time Trial
  • Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie - Men's Canoe Double (C2)
  • Peter Wilson - Men's Shooting Double Trap
  • Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes - Men's Team Sprint
  • Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins - Women's Double Sculls
  • Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke - Men's Team Pursuit
  • Victoria Pendleton - Women's Cycling Keirin
  • Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed, Tom James, Alex Gregory - Men's Fours
  • Katherine Copeland, Sophie Hosking - Women's Lightweight Double Sculls
  • Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell - Women's Team Pursuit
  • Jessica Ennis - Women's Heptathlon
  • Greg Rutherford - Men's Long Jump
  • Mo Farah - Men's Athletics 10,000m
  • Ben Ainslie - Men's Sailing Finn
  • Andy Murray - Men's Tennis Singles

The stamps cost the normal first class price of 60p.

Meanwhile, Royal Mail has painted itself into something of a corner with another pledge - to paint a postbox gold in each of the medallists' home towns.

Laura Trott had expected hers to be in Cheshunt, Herts, but a box in Harlow, Essex, was painted because the town is listed as her birthplace on the Team GB website.

Royal Mail will now paint a box near her former primary school in Cheshunt.

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