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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
How Superstars works
1: Competitors attempt six of eight events
2: This becomes seven of nine for the men's final
3: Athletes opt out of one event and are pulled out of another
4: 10 points go to the winner of each event, followed by 7, 4, 2 and 1 for the next places
5: The top two aggregate points scorers advance to final
Superstars is back after 19 years in the wilderness, but its format remains almost unchanged.

The aim of the game is simple.

Athletes compete against each other in a wide range of disciplines, collecting points according to their score or time, and the winner is the man or woman with the highest aggregate total.

A whopping 10 points are on offer for a first-place finish in each event, seven go to second spot, four to third, two to fourth and one point goes to fifth place.

But there is a catch.

To prevent Mark Foster destroying all-comers in the pool, or Chris Boardman blitzing his heat in the biking, every contender is withdrawn from their "specialist" event.

In the interests of safety, athletes may then opt out of the discipline they fear most - so John Regis, for example, can spare himself the indignity of drowning by dropping the swim.

Here is our guide to the events. . .

100m: Put your head down and run as fast as you can.

800m: Put your head down and run almost as fast as you can for 600m and then hang on for dear life until the finish.

50m swim: Thrash around like a mad thing and hope to stay afloat - diving is encouraged, but tumble turns are banned.

Gym test - squats: Always a source of controversy. Your feet must be dragged from one line to another as many times as possible in a minute. Sliding in socks is allowed, but those who value their feet are advised to wear shoes.

Gym test - dips: Another bone of contention. The aim is to lift yourself up using two parallel bars until your elbows lock out, then to dip down before locking out again. You have one minute of sheer pain to do as many repetitions as you can.

Kayak: Duel in pairs along a 120m course. The two fastest paddlers win the dubious right to do it all again, this time head-to-head in the final.

Mountain bikes: A one-off race up a very steep 600m slope.

Football (men only): Contenders must dribble from the start-line before trying to slot past keeper Dave Beasant. You have three cracks at goal and, in the likely event of a tie, positions are settled on time.

Golf (men's heats only): The aim is to chip five balls as close to the pin as possible. For every ball that comes to rest inside the target zone, you score points, graded according to how close to the hole you finish. Every shot counts and total points decides the winner.

Archery (men's final and women): Like golf with arrows. Five attempts to hit the bullseye and the highest total score wins.

Tennis (men's final and women): A real thigh burner. You must touch your bum on a box and then get up and hit a volley deep into the singles court without hitting out. Balls come at regular intervals over a minute and the top scorer will hit predominantly three-pointers (deep shots), as opposed to two-pointers (mid-court) or one-pointers (drop volleys).

Links to more Superstars stories



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