x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Olympics: Kirani James' win inspiring his island nation home

Kirani James's win in the men's 400m has his island nation of Grenada celebrating and Japan's women's football team has earned a bump up to business class for its flight back.

Grenada was celebrating Kirani James's win in the men's 400m final, the island nation's first-ever gold medal.
Grenada was celebrating Kirani James's win in the men's 400m final, the island nation's first-ever gold medal.

People danced, cheered and waved flags in the streets of Grenada after Kirani James won the gold medal in the 400-metre run - giving the small Caribbean nation its first-ever Olympic medal. Hundreds of people had gathered at outdoor viewing sites to watch the race. The government of Grenada declared Tuesday afternoon a holiday to mark the feat. Tillman Thomas, the prime minister, called James's victory an inspiration to the country.

 

Moving up to business

Japan's women footballers have bagged themselves an upgrade on their plane ride home from the Olympics, the team coach said, after a sexism row over their flight to Europe ahead of the Games. The guaranteed medal that comes with a final spot against the United States will see the world champions sitting pretty in business class, their coach Norio Sasaki said. "The Japan Football Association is trying to work something out," he said. "When we came here we came in premium economy and there wasn't a problem. The problem is when we go back there will probably not be enough business seats available."

 

'Take it on the chin'

Australia's chef de mission Nick Green applauded Britain's medal haul at the London Games and said that while home fans had every right to take delight in Australia's struggles, his nation would "take it on the chin". Britain sit third in the table while Australia are enduring one of their worst Olympics with just two golds. Green said there was still time for Australia to climb the table but acknowledged Britain's success. He said: "Our position in the medal tally will change, but we recognise and applaud the work to date Great Britain has done."

 

Age not a timely issue

Bobbing on the start line in her kayak, Josefa Idem peered to the left through her sunglasses and saw rivals less than half her age. Then the starting bleep went off and she beat them all. The 47-year-old Italian made history on Tuesday when she became the first woman to compete in eight Olympic Games. She marked the occasion by qualifying for the final of the flagship 500-metre K-1 event. "I don't care about age," she said, laughing. "The stopwatch doesn't ask."

 

Love saves the day

The British pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale flopped at the Olympics, but was a winner in love when she revealed her boyfriend had proposed to her. The 20 year old, who finished sixth in the final, tweeted that boyfriend Paul Bradshaw had asker her to marry him. "6th in the Olympics and ) epic day!!!"," she wrote on Twitter. Bradshaw had posted: "I have just proposed to @HollyBleasdale and she said yes!!!!! Best day ever!"

 

Brownlee brothers do not disappoint in triathlon

Great Britain’s Alistair and Jonny Brownlee made the Olympic triathlon a family affair as they took gold and bronze. There was a lot of pressure on the brothers, who finished last year ranked one and two in the world, but they lived up to expectations, albeit with a few dramas. Jonny received a 15-second penalty for mounting his bike too early, which he took during the run, and then collapsed from his exertions and had to be treated in the medical room. “We made no secret of the fact we wanted to get both of us on the podium and that’s not an easy thing to do considering Britain’s never won a medal in triathlon,” said Alistair.

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