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Olympic Green Archery Field

A bit like the sailors at currently windless Qingdao, Britain's medal tally has hit the doldrums over the last couple of days.

There was concern this first week was going to be slow, and to be honest, so it has proved.

Apart from the swimmers, who've had a great Olympics, and the cycling team who will undoubtedly be Britain's biggest providers, there's been disappointment elsewhere.

Nothing out of judo, diving, badminton, tennis, shooting - and now archery, where I've been spending my time over the last few days.

Archery had a target of two medals, and managed only a 4th place in the women's team event.

Let's add some context to that.

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Continue reading "Coping with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"


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Storms caused havoc for a while at the Olympics today. Rain, wind, thunder and lightning swept through Beijing and Shunyi again - turning Olympic fans into pixies as they snapped up cheap plastic macs (price: five yuan = 40p) to protect them from the elements.

Apparently the parents of Aberdonian David Florence, who won a rare canoeing silver earlier in the week, were close to a lightning strike at the Great Wall and as a result were checked over by the British Olympic Association's medical team - but thankfully found to be uninjured.

Back in Olympic Green, it looked like a Smurf convention was in full swing as thousands of Chinese tried to make the best of it (macs come in blue, white, yellow and pink and quickly sold out).

Presenters John Inverdale and Sir Steve Redgrave managed to find a pair however, as they broadcast live from the rowing lake at Shunyi, which was worst-hit by the weather, causing chuckles from those who watched them on TV.

Continue reading "Storms bring out the Smurfs"



Remember Vanderlei de Lima in Athens? He was leading the marathon until a spectator jumped out into his path.

The IOC later gave him the Pierre de Coubertin medal for showing the spirit of the Oympics.

I know I maybe getting ahead of myself, but I know who my choice for that award would be this time round.

I went to see Georgia's Nino Salukvadze taking part in the the women's 10m air pistol. And while her country is in a state of conflict with Russia, she managed to win bronze.

Continue reading "Georgian and Russian athletes share emotional embrace"



Beijing Shooting Range Hall

The great Chinese party is well and truly underway, but at the shooting range this morning it felt like it had been thoroughly pooped.

After the most lavish Opening Ceremony ever staged, the home nation planned to be celebrating the first gold medal of the games by half way through the first morning.

Du Li did it in Athens - could she do it in Beijing too?

The crowd of slightly bleary-eyed Chinese journalists who joined me on the 7.10am media bus to Shijingshan full expected her to be celebrating a successful defence of her title in the 10m air rifle by around 10.50am.

The fans pouring into the venue were all waving red flags with yellow stars on.

1.3bn people expecting a glorious start to the games - the pressure on Du's slender shoulders couldn't have been greater...

Continue reading "Du blows it - but gold for shooter who married the man who missed it"



Beijing

One of the great inventions of the ancient Chinese world was gunpowder.

So it's not a great surprise that the first Olympic champion of the Beijing Games is very likely to be a Chinese shooter.

Du Li is the defending champion in the women's 10m air rifle (yes, I know that you don't need gunpowder to shoot an air rifle).

I'm expecting to see her crowned champion again at around 11am local time (4am UK time) on the first morning of the Games, surrounded by ecstatic local fans.

Du Li in action in April

Continue reading "Shooter Du Li set to win China's first gold"



The Olympics suddenly seemed a lot closer once the shooting team was named, and it really hit home that I was going to Beijing when I got all my kit for my first Games.

We had to go to the NEC in Birmingham to pick it up, and there's loads of it - I even got a camcorder, so you might spot me filming everything at the opening ceremony on 8 August. I'm really looking forward to it.

The GB team was announced on 1 July, and there are five of us in the shooting events - Richard Faulds, Jon Hammond, Steve Scott, Elena Little and me.

Continue reading "All set for my first Olympics"



Hungarian Olympic shooter Karoly Takacs

Continue reading "Olympic countdown - 38 days - Sharp shooter"



Welcome to our Olympics and Paralympics blog, which we are launching as the countdown to the 2008 Games begins in earnest.

Wednesday marks exactly 100 days to go to the 8 August opening ceremony (though oddly enough the football tournament starts two days earlier).

Writers from across BBC Sport, Radio 5Live, BBC London and BBC News will bring you the inside track on all 28 Olympic sports, as well as the Games themselves - which are set to be truly fascinating, if controversial, given China's hosting of them.

One of the uncertainties at the moment from a British perspective is whether the Games will turn out to be a triumph - or a failure. My view is...

Continue reading "Welcome to our new Olympics blog"



Keep reading this blog for all the latest about the Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing and also for the inside track on the long build-up to London 2012.

News and reports will be on the BBC Sport website but our experts will bring you behind the scenes access to the world's biggest sporting event right here.

All of our bloggers are keen to hear your views and we want people to engage and comment on what we have to say.

To find out more about all our contributors, check our about their author pages.

Comments on this blog will be moderated 24 hours per day seven days per week.

Please keep your comments clean.

Comments which fail our house rules (listed below) will be removed.

Continue reading "About the Olympics blog"



Beijing will be my first Olympics and I will be competing in shooting's double trap event.

I won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester as a 15-year-old and defended my title in Melbourne four years later.

I missed out on qualifying for the Athens Olympics by one point, so I'm determined to make up for that in Beijing.


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