London Started Greatly, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Tower of London Bridge, 27 July 2012, photo by

Lots going on, on this second day of the XXX Summer Olympics of the modern era. London did a wonderful opening, and the comments have been coming in all night. Issue seems to be what the American audience sees from the NBC broadcast. NBC will do over 5300 hours of coverage on its various platforms. 

More to come before I leave for London on Sunday afternoon. 

London started greatly
LONDON (GBR): The London 2012 Olympics got off to the best possible start on the banks 
of the Thames last night, as artistic director Danny Boyle's breathtaking 100-minute 
Opening Ceremony captivated an 80,000 crowd packed with celebrities and VIPs. 
From the moment yellow-jerseyed Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins opened 
proceedings at 9pm GMT with a single chime of the 23-tonne Olympic bell, the 
audience was subjected to a joyous assault on the senses that catapulted them 
through 200 years of British history from the industrial to the digital revolution, 
the latter embodied by the presence of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide 
web. The answer to the night's great secret, the identity of the lighter of the Olympic 
cauldron in the centre of the stadium, was not revealed until well after midnight - and 
virtually none of the speculation that had accompanied the build-up to the Games was 
right. The honour was bestowed on seven young athletes said to represent the host 
nation's hopes for the next Olympics and beyond, in keeping with the emphasis on 
youth maintained by the London project since it won the right to host the 2012 Games 
in Singapore seven years ago. The most daring of many spectacular coups de theatres 
that preceded this came when the Queen appeared - repeat, appeared - to parachute 
into the stadium from a helicopter, accompanied by James Bond actor Daniel Craig. 
"In the next two weeks, we will show all that has made London one of the greatest 
cities in the world," LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe promised. Informs insidethegames.

LONDON (GBR): In total 62 track athletes were among the 205 flag bearers (including the 
group under IOC Flag, that means 204 countries). Among them not yet mentioned and having 
world class international quality Amantle Montsho for Botswana, Chris Brown for Bahamas, 
Kemar Hyman for Cayman Islands, Ben Meite for Ivory Coast, Aleksander Tammert for 
Estonia, Kirani James for Grenada, Nick Willis for New Zealand, Javier Culson for 
PuertoRico, Ahmed Ismail for Sudan. 


LONDON (GBR): The Sudanese embassy denied that one of its track athletes attempted to 
seek asylum in the United Kingdom just before the start of the Olympic Games.
Reports surfaced Thursday that a Sudanese runner walked into a police station in the 
city of Leeds, two hours north of London, and announced he was seeking political 
asylum. Informs Reuters.

MOUNTAIN VIEW (USA): Respected US monthly Track and Field News published its olympic predictions based on the latest informations. In the 100 m TFN says Yohan Blake will beat Usain Bolt but in the 200 m the result will be opposite. Bronze medals are 
predicted for Tyson Gay in the 100 m and Wallace Spearmon in the 200 m. TFN predicts 
two golds for Mo Farah who should win both 5000 m and 10 000 m. Kenyans Wilson Kipsang 
and Mary Keitany should win the marathon. 

LONDON (GBR): Trackalerts writes that Usain Bolt has arranged a personal entourage 
comprising Jamaican track colleagues to shield him from the attention of other athletes 
in the Olympic Village. Discus thrower Jason Morgan, shot putter Dorian Scott (who has 
worked part-time as a bouncer in Jamaica) and 4x100 meter relay reserve Kemar Bailey-Cole 
have been tasked with shadowing Bolt whenever he ventures outside the Vesta House, 
the apartment block in the Village where the entire Jamaican contingent is staying.

SARASOTA (USA): Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt suffered a slight hamstring strain when he pulled up in the Monaco Diamond League meeting with a cramp and is undergoing treatment. Loren Seagrave his coach informed Reuters. "He will continue to 
be treated and rehabilitated by the USATF (USA Track and Field) medical team in London,
" the coach said, Merritt planned to arrive to London on Saturday.

CHARLOTTESVILLE (USA): Lannigan Field, the renovated Virginia track and field facility, 
will re-open for use by the general public on Wednesday, Aug. 1. In addition to the 
eight-lane track, the community will have access to a new soft surface loop around 
the facility's perimeter.
BRUSSELS (BEL) : Belgian middle distance runner Kristof Van Malderen is putting his 
career on hold and will decide in the next months whether he will continue competing. 
The 1500m runner did not manage to qualify for the London Olympic Games and is now 
hoping to move on with his life he told

AMSTERDAM (NED): Dutch sensation Dafne Schippers has confirmed she will be competing 
in the heptathlon, 200m and 4x100m at the London Olympic Games. Schippers focused on 
the 200m at the European championships in Helsinki but decided to do a full program 
when in London. The 20-year old athlete however, is not completely pain free as she 
has been suffering with pain in her foot reports

LONDON (GBR): Dai Greene says he is "desperate" to win an Olympic gold medal in the 
400m hurdles at London 2012 reports the BBC. Greene is one of the favourites to bring 
home a gold medal for the host nation after the Welshman has already won World 
Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games gold medals and is 
determined to add an Olympic title. "I have been training all year to get the 
gold medal, I don't imagine myself winning bronze or silver," said Greene.

LONDON (GBR): The crackdown on doping offenders in the run-up to the London Olympics 
has been a success after testers caught more than a 100 athletes using 
performance-enhancing drugs in recent months, IOC President Jacques Rogge said on 
Friday according to Reuters. Hours before the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games, 
Rogge said the International Olympic Committee's efforts for a clean Olympics 
were bearing fruit.

NEW YORK (USA): American triple jumper Will Claye has agreed an endorsement deal with 
Muscle Foot. The 21-year-old world indoor champion, who also took bronze at the 2011 
IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, will wear and promote the company's 
Barefoot Science line of insoles.

ROMA (ITA): Italian 50 km 2008 winner Alex Schwazer informed he will compete only 
in the longer walking event at the Games. Initially he wanted to do also the 20 km. 

SHAWNEE (USA): informs that former Oklahoma Baptist national champion 
Michael Rodgers will miss the Olympic Games, forced out by an injury Rodgers 
believes he could overcome. Rodgers has been diagnosed with a stress fracture 
in his foot and has been replaced in the 4x100 relay pool by Jeff Demps. Rodgers, who 
was already in England when the U.S. Olympic Committee handed down its decision, will 
not be allowed to participate in the Opening Ceremonies. Rodgers said in the interview 
with the St. Louis newspaper that he disputes the diagnosis, saying it was rushed, 
and believes he is healthy enough to compete.


AVILA (ESP, Jul 28): At Avila GP Meet Antonio Reina clocked new Spanish record at 600 m 
1:14.79. It is also third best ever by an European runner, better only Italian Andrea 
Longo 1:14.41 in 2000 and Swiss Andre Bucher 1:14.72 in 2009.

KANDEL (GER, Jul 28-29): At German U23 Championships Lena Malkus leaped to 672 
(0.0) in the long jump. Shanice Craft achieved 60.88 in the discus.

UPPSALA (SWE, Jul 28): At Folksam Challenge meet world junior champion Luguelin 
Santos of Dominican Republic clocked 32.56 in the 300 m over Jamaican Javere Bell 
32.84 and home Johan Wissman 32.96. Lithuanian Darius Aucyna achieved windy 801 (+2.9) 
and legal 780 (+1.8). Kim Amb got 81.51 in the javelin. Russian star Darya Klishina 
won the women long jump 664 (+3.0) and 653 (+1.6). Purity Rionoripo of Kenya won the 
3000 m in 8:59.06.

WEINHEM (GER, Jul 27): The farewell meet of German athletes before the Games 
brought fast sprint times. German men (Rues, Unger, Kosenkow, Jakubczyk) 
improved the German record to 38.02 ahead of Canada A 38.43 and Canadab B 38.59. 
It is third best European nation together with Soviet Union, better only Great Britain 
and France. Julian Reus got 10.09 PB (+0.7) ahead of Tobias Unger 10.20. Canadian Gavin 
Smellie clocked in another race 10.14 (+1.3) beating Jared Connaughton 10.20 and Swiss 
Reto Amaru Schenkel 10.22 PB. Fastest 200 m time for Alex Wilson 20.52, in other race his 
Swiss colleague Schenkel achieved 20.68. Fastest hurdler Matthias Buhler 13.34 (+1.3) 
over Vladimir Vukicevic of Norway 13.55 national record, in other race Alexander John 
13.35 (+0.7). Fast women 100 m by European Champion 2010 Verena Sailer 11.05 (+1.4) 
beating Anne Cibis 11.17 PB. In the hurdles Cindy Roleder got 13.04 (+0.9). 

HENDON (GBR, Jul 28): In special discus competition here Gerd Kanter threw 67.36 ahead 
of another Estonian Mart Israel 65.02, US Jason Young 63.18 and Lance Brooks 62.96.

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