Bolt hoping for double; officials hoping for good weather

Beijing - Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt will go for a sprint double at the Beijing Games in a boost for Olympic athletics, it was confirmed on Sunday.

There was less good news for organizers as they were warned that rain could dampen Friday's proposed opening ceremony, while typhoons could cause a postponement of the equestrian and sailing events.

Zhang Qiang, the deputy director of the Beijing Weather Modification Office, said she expected rainfall over Beijing during the Games to be slightly more than normal.

"The temperature will also be slightly higher," she said.

This day in Olympic history - August 4

Beijing - This day in Olympic history - August 4

August 4

1996 - South African marathon runner Josiah Thugwane becomes the first black South African to win an Olympic gold medal as he finishes in a time of 2:12.36, just three seconds ahead of Korean Lee Bong Ju. Thugwane says after the race that winning for him showed that black people in South Africa were finally free after having rid themselves of the shackles of apartheid.

1996 - The Atlanta Games draw to an end and the Olympic flame is extinguished. The Olympic flag is passed on to Sydney, who will host the 2000 Olympics.

Ancient Olympics spirit worked on ‘winning is everything’ philosophy

Washington, June 29 : Ancient Olympics ideals differ dramatically from the way the games are played today, says a University of Maryland classicist who has researched the Olympic past heavily.

The ancient games featured professionals with a "winning is everything" philosophy, said Professor Hugh Ming Lee.

"Ancient Olympiads were more like the modern PGA golf circuit than the amateur ideal advanced for most of the 20th century," says Hugh Ming Lee, a professor of classics at the University of Maryland.

Hong Kong sets up 200-strong task force to find Olympic fakes

Hong Kong  - A 200-strong squad of customs men has been assigned to track down fake Olympic Games souvenirs in Hong Kong, a news report said Monday.

The squad has been set up after the seizure of 850 fake souvenirs including key rings, watches, caps and stickers in recent months and the arrest of 22 people, the South China Morning Post reported.

Patrols will be set up in tourist areas of Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok and officers would patrol venues during the games to watch out for people selling fakes.

Hong Kong is hosting the equestrian events during the 2008 Olympics. Up to 45 authorised shops and booths around the city are selling souvenirs. (dpa)

Olympic torch on Mount Everest

Beijing, May 8 : A Chinese mountaineerig team took the specially designed Olympic torch to the world’s highest point “Mount Everest” along with Olympic flags this morning.

Amid repeated slogan "One World, One Dream," the climbers circled on the peak and celebrated its achievement by passing the torch among themselves.

"We have lit the torch on top of the world," a climber said.

The 19-member team broke camp at 27,390 feet (8,300 meters) before dawn and reached the top of the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) mountain a little more than six hours later.

Britain questions expulsions ahead of Olympic torch relay

Olympic TorchHong Kong  - British officials in Hong Kong were Thursday preparing to meet a Hong Kong government minister to ask why two Britons planning to take part in anti-China protests during the Olympic torch relay on May 2 were refused entry.

British consul-general Andrew Seaton is due to meet Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Friday afternoon to ask why Free Tibet Campaign spokesman Matt Whitticase and another unnamed Briton were detained at the airport on Tuesday.

Four more activists expelled as Olympic Torch reaches Hong Kong

Olympic TorchHong Kong  - The Olympic Torch was Wednesday due to return to Chinese soil at the end of its troubled world tour as more activists were denied entry to Hong Kong ahead of its arrival.

The torch was due to reach the former British colony from Vietnam ahead of Friday's relay through the city which will be closely watched for protests and demonstrations over Tibet.

Hong Kong is the only place in China apart from Macau where anti-China demonstrations are allowed, thanks to the territory's 'one country, two systems' arrangement with Beijing.

German minister discusses Olympic security issues with China

Beijing - German Interior Minister Wolfgang SchaeubleGerman Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble urged China Tuesday to be open in handling political conflicts such as the controversy over Tibet as well as security for the Olympic Games.

Schaeuble told reporters in Beijing after his talks with Vice President Zhang Dejiang that he tried to convey that "openness is the best way to not let conflicts escalate."

He welcomed Chian's willingness to meet with Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Small Olympic protest broken up in Hanoi before torch relay

Hanoi - At least six people protesting the Beijing Olympics were detained Tuesday in Hanoi ahead of the Olympic torch relay through Ho Chi Minh City later in the day.

Two men hoisted banners with the words "Beijing 2008" and a design depicting the Olympic rings as handcuffs at Hanoi's Dong Xuan market before being hustled away by dozens of uniformed and plainclothes police officers.

A desk officer at the local police station said a police rapid reaction unit had brought in six detainees Tuesday morning but would not release their names.

Olympic torch arrives in North Korea

Olympic TorchSeoul/Pyongyang - The Beijing Olympic torch relay's latest leg kicked off in the North Korean capital Pyongyang Monday morning, Korean media reported.

The torch, to be carried by 80 people on a 20-kilometre route, left at 10:15 am (0115 GMT) after a ceremony in the centre of the city.

It is the first time that the Olympic flame was carried through Pyongyang, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The Olympic flame had been brought to Pyongyang the night before from South Korea on a charter plane into the north.

Police in Hong Kong quiz student over Facebook protest appeal

Hong Kong  - In a sign of Hong Kong nervousness over pro-Tibet protests during the Olympic torch relay on May 2, police were Friday reportedly quizzing a female student over her Facebook blog.

Philosophy undergraduate Chan Hau-man, 21, was contacted by police after she publicized an event called "troublemaking for the Olympics torch relay" on the popular social networking site.

The University of Hong Kong student was phoned by police and asked for details of the planned protest and asked to meet officers at a police station Friday, the South China Morning Post reported.

No major incidents in Buenos Aires Olympic torch relay

Buenos Aires - The Olympic torch relay escaped major incidents Friday in Buenos Aires, with the flame covering almost 14 kilometres through city streets amid very tight security.

Under a grey sky, Argentine windsurfer and sailor Carlos Espinola - a triple Olympic medalist - was first to carry the torch among a total of 80 people over more than two hours, ending with former tennis star and Olympic silver medalist Gabriela Sabatini.

No incidents of any significance were reported during the relay, although one spectator threw a water balloon as the Olympic torch passed by the historic Plaza de Mayo, in the hands of equestrian Lucas Werthein.

Olympic Torch extinguished as protesters disrupt Paris relay leg

Paris - The Olympic torch was extinguished at least twice Monday in Paris as thousands of anti-China protesters disrupted its passage through the French capital, French media reported.

Police said that the torch was extinguished "for technical reasons" that were not related to the protests, but some media said that the action was taken to protect the torch from the human-rights demonstrators lining the planned 28-kilometre route.

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman said that the group would not comment on the incidents.

"The torch is the responsibility of ... the local Olympic committee," he said, adding that the Olympic flame "never dies."

Protests, arrests mar Olympic torch relay leg in London

London - One man tried to snatch the Olympic torch and another tried to put out the flame as protests against China marred the London leg of the Olympic torch relay for the Beijing Games on Sunday.

By afternoon, 30 people were arrested as police scuffled with activists protesting against China's crackdown in Tibet and other human rights issues.

A man tried to take away the torch from television presenter Konnie Huq. He got his hand on the torch, but he was immediately wrestled down by two policemen and then led away.

China vows to take torch to Tibet despite "sabotage" threat

Beijing - Leaders of China's Tibet Autonmous Region have vowed to go ahead with the Olympic torch relay through the region despite what he described as the threat of "sabotage activities" by supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama, state media said on Sunday.

Zhang Qingli, head of the regional branch of China's ruling Communist Party, told a meeting to plan the torch relay on Saturday that "grave challenges remain ahead, as the Dalai clique is plotting new sabotage activities," the official Xinhua news agency said.

Zhang urged "all relevant departments to spare no efforts in preparing for the torch relay to ward off any possible mishap," the agency said.

Protests at Olympic torch relay leg in London

London - One man tried to snatch the Olympic torch as 10 people were arrested around protests against China during the London leg of the Olympic torch relay for the Beijing Games on Sunday.

A man who tried to take away the torch from television presenter Konnie Huq got his hand on the torch but was immediately wrestled down by two policemen and then led away.

Another person tried to put out the flame with a fire extinguisher.

A police force of 2,000 was on hand as officers on bicycles accompanied Huq and other runners on the journey through the host city of the 2012 Olympics.

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