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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Olympic diary: Day three
By Phil Gordos
BBC Sport in Athens

The stifling heat and the swirling wind have been causing a few problems on the first two days of Olympic competition.

But the cyclists faced a new and unexpected hazard during the women's road race on Saturday - pigeons.

Hundreds of them swooped menacingly overhead, several of them getting caught up in the wheels of the riders.

A bird of another kind caused problems for Judith Arndt, the silver medallist earning a 80 fine for abusing German officials as she crossed the line.

The success of silver medallists Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor will no doubt increase interest in diving.

But British chiefs have already begun the search for the next generation of springboard and platform stars.

Emulating the television series Pop Idol, officials have been screening thousands of would-be Waterfields and Taylors at cities around the country.

According to GB coach Lindsey Fraser, the search is going well, so expect more diving glory in the future.

If medals were awarded to members of the media with the most garish uniforms, Brazil would top the table.

Band Sports are very conspicuous in a luminous yellow and green outfit that is hurtful - and possible damaging - to the eyes but instantly recognisable.

Thankfully, not everyone from the South American country has the same appalling dress sense as the Band Sport crew.

The Globo TV team, for example, look very fetching in their combination of lime green shirts and khaki trousers.

Cyclist Magnus Backstedt enjoyed a lengthy spell in the spotlight on Saturday when he led the men's road race for more than two hours.

The Swede's brave tilt at Olympic glory was eventually brought to a premature halt by the terrific heat in Athens.

But it turns out the giant Scandinavian could be wearing the red, white and blue of Team GB at future Games.

Married to Welsh cyclist Megan Hughes, he lives in Newport and has already thought of switching nationalities.

Links to more Olympics 2004 stories


Olympic diary: Day two
15 Aug 04  |  Olympics 2004
Olympic diary: Day one
14 Aug 04  |  Olympics 2004


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