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The London Olympics 2012

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Just thought I'd start a thread for general discussion on the London Olympics 2012, how Team GB are doing (or likely to do) in specific sports and how the organisation is coping now the moment is almost upon us!

Schedule of events and results is here:

http://m.london2012.com/schedule-and-results/

By way of a warm up, I thought I'd post this video of how London Tranport have been getting their buses ready for the expected millions of visitors......

http://youtu.be/3PG5_bscyE4

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Cannot wait..............for the hell that is about to be unleashed on all us Londoners! help.gifblum.gif

My plan is to avoid London at Weekends and just pray to the great big travel God in the sky during the weekdays.

At least it will make fantastic TV for the next two weeks :)

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What events will team GB win with a Gold then? Steve Cram says:

London 2012: GB athletics gold medal hopes - Steve Cram

With days to go until the Olympic athletics competition begins on Friday, 3 August, I'm feeling positive. Usually, Great Britain go into an Olympic Games wondering where our athletics gold medal is going to come from. This time around, I think we have three outstanding candidates in Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Dai Greene.

Jess, who broke the British heptathlon record in May, is always improving. She had some weaknesses to work on following her World Championships performance last year, particularly the javelin and long jump. But in her strong events she has been able to gain an advantage: her hurdling and sprinting have put her in fantastic shape and that makes her weaker events less of an issue. I think the javelin and long jump are key for Jess - she cannot afford for both of those to be weak. She is on home soil and is a great competitor, so all those things stand in her favour.

Both Dai and Puerto Rican rival Javier Culson have shown themselves to be the best in the world over 400m this year, but I would not write off American Angelo Taylor. He's somebody to watch out for. Dai has demonstrated that when it comes to the big competitions he produces his best. I think he knows deep down that he will have to run a personal best and/or a British record (he was just shy of it at the Paris Diamond League event) to beat Culson. He ran well in Paris but the Olympics offers a different dynamic because you have the heats to deal with, which is different to running a one-off race in the Diamond League. But I actually think that will work in Dai's favour.

Mo has always been a good runner, but he became a great runner when he decided finishing in the top 10 in the world was not good enough and he wanted to be in the top three in the world and win medals.That was brought about by him changing his routine, switching coach and moving to the United States to live and train last year. It's been bearing fruit. He's on the crest of a wave but it's not going to be easy. Of the three Britons with gold-medal potential, he's got the toughest task as there are so many people on the day capable of doing well. In both the 10,000m and 5,000m, take your pick.

For Mo, it will probably come down to the last 600m of both races. The only negative to Mo's new-found medal-winning status is that his competitors now know what they are contending with. A couple of years ago the African athletes had only watched him on TV. Now, they've raced with him and they know what he's going to do. That puts pressure on him and gives them a little bit of an advantage. But on the other hand, Mo's rivals are going to need to find a way to negate his tactics and that is what is going to be interesting - especially in the 10,000m. I think that distance is Mo's best chance of gold - partly because it comes first in the schedule, and partly because there will be fewer athletes with a chance of winning compared to the 5,000m.

It doesn't mean Jess, Dai and Mo are all going to win, but hopefully at least a couple of them will convert. Phillips Idowu is still a contender but, even by his own admission, he would have liked to have competed more and there is a big question over his fitness . Those three are backed up by about half-a-dozen decent medal chances, which we don't usually say before a Games. We often make a case for it because we're British and want to be positive, but this time we're got a genuine bunch of other medal contenders and some of them are likely to convert.

They include national 400m hurdles champion Perri Shakes-Drayton , high jumper Robbie Grabarz , who is third in the world this year, pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale and Steve Lewis, who has just broken the British pole vault record with 5.82m. Perri was touted as a potential Olympic medal contender as early as last year, but gave us cause for concern with her performances this season. Then, at the London Diamond League earlier this month, where she smashed her best time with a 53.78 second run, she put herself right back in the frame. Meanwhile, Robbie was again holding his own against US world champion high jumper Jesse Williams at the Diamond League meet in Monaco. The Olympic high jump competition will be tough but Robbie is competing well on the big stage.

So I still think head coach Charles van Commenee's eight-medal target is a realistic one. One area of concern, as has been well documented, is our sprinting. It's been a disappointment. And we lost the women's relay team where it could have been possible to sneak a medal. It looks like our best chance in the relays will come in both the 4x400m races.

I've seen Steve Lewis (GB pole vaulter) two or three times this year and he told me how well things were going and how he was just waiting for it all to click. He's one of those athletes who has always had the ability, but it's always been a case of not being fit enough or not being in the right competition and lacking confidence. Hopefully, this British record of 5.82m will give him the confidence going in to the Games and show him that he has every right to be there.

They include national 400m hurdles champion Perri Shakes-Drayton , high jumper Robbie Grabarz , who is third in the world this year, pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale and Steve Lewis, who has just broken the British pole vault record with 5.82m.

Perri was touted as a potential Olympic medal contender as early as last year, but gave us cause for concern with her performances this season. Then, at the London Diamond League earlier this month, where she smashed her best time with a 53.78 second run, she put herself right back in the frame

http://www.bbc.co.uk...ympics/18958224

London 2012 Olympics: Team GB rower Katherine Grainger ready to realise gold-medal dream with Anna Watkins

Remember the smile. Katherine Grainger is described by Anna Watkins, her sidekick in the women’s double scull, as the “life and soul†of the British rowing sisterhood, and with solid reason. The Scot’s default setting is one of almost exhausting vivacity, animating her team-mates with the same self-belief that has already propelled her to six world titles and a trilogy of Olympic silvers. Should she flesh out the collection at Eton next Friday with the gold that is her due, her permanently sunny expression will border on the beatific. Not that one would know it, but Grainger enters these Olympics as the Sir Steve Redgrave of Dorney Lake. She is, at 36, nothing less than the most decorated British woman ever to wield an oar in anger.

But for more than a decade the ultimate accolade of Olympic gold has somehow eluded her, and she arrives in London saddled with overwhelming expectation to remedy the flaw. “Of course, there is only one result that I want,†she says, buttering the words with her mellifluous Edinburgh brogue. “There’s only one that I am in this for.†What engages most about Grainger is this melding of radiant charm with the most fearsome resolve. While her Olympic résumé is pockmarked with near-misses, from her silvers in the quadruple sculls in Sydney and Beijing to another dreaded second place in the pair in Athens, nobody but she knows how deeply the absence of a gold has cut. As she stood, head bowed and lip trembling, on the medal rostrum four years ago, she looked tearfully disconsolate.

“It’s a bit like a grieving process,†she admits. “When you live these experiences as intensely as we do, it’s incredibly painful. Coming back from Beijing in 2008, there were open-bus tours for all the medallists, and dinners hosted by the British Olympic Association. But on every occasion, it felt like another twist of the knife, a reminder of the disappointment of not winning gold. I wanted to continue. "I thought, though, that I couldn’t spend four years investing myself in one day in London. Maybe all my dreams will come true. But I have sought to make the most of every step of this last four-year cycle, even if the goal has always, always been the Olympics.â€

Thwarted sports stars can often be disarmingly sanguine about their setbacks. Lee Westwood, who fell short again at last week’s Open Championship, has scoffed at the notion of carrying ‘scar tissue’ if he retires at 39 without a major to his name. Grainger indicates that she would sense the omission of an Olympic gold medal more acutely. “If I’m absolutely honest, I would feel a little bit incomplete,†she says. “I wouldn’t feel any less of a person, but from an athlete’s point of view I would see it as one very obvious missing link. If I don’t succeed in London, there will be always be the nagging realisation that I didn’t have the perfect return on my rowing career.â€

Mercifully, the signs so far are propitious. Grainger and Watkins have dominated their main rivals from Australia at every stage of the three-part World Cup series. Indeed, if you were to base Olympic predictions solely upon this season’s evidence, you would have them as copper-bottomed certainties for gold. But much the same forecast was advanced for Grainger and the quad ahead of Beijing, where they were edged out by China in a final of botched strategy.

At least in Watkins, the powerful blonde who shares her natural ebullience, she has finally discovered her perfect racing partner.

“Anna’s very scientific, brilliant at maths, the kind of mind that can read patterns,†Grainger explains. “So when we get pages and pages of data back on our performance – graphs, grades and angles and numbers – she will spend hours wading through it. But I use a lot of feel. I operate more on instinct. What’s amazing is that we can both arrive at the same answer, often from opposite aspects.â€

The two project a genuine and tangible dynamic, often completing one another’s sentences, and together create a type of brains trust in a boat. For both are, remarkably, studying for doctorates. Watkins, who studied natural sciences at Cambridge, has embarked upon a PhD in numerical analysis, while Grainger has focused hers upon the ethics of criminal law. “I probably had a romanticised view of being a lawyer through watching far too many TV courtroom dramas,†she says. “But I have always had a very strong sense of justice and injustice, and the side of forensic pathology fascinated me.â€

When Grainger first enrolled for doctoral study a decade ago, at King’s College London, the debates among her seminar group were highly topical. “We covered everything from genetics to euthanasia to sterilisation to organ transplantation,†she recalls, virtually in the same breath. “There was so much legal control at that time. Should we follow the guidelines on these issues or push the boundaries? It was so stimulating, although I’ve still never seen myself as a natural academic.†She might do herself a disservice here, since her blue eyes gleam at further questions about her thesis. “It’s all about the life tariff, which came into the Criminal Justice Act in 2003. For the first time since it came in statutory form, a very small group of people will serve a strict life sentence, meaning life. It’s the first time in our legal system that we have had such an extreme punishment.â€

Grainger’s supervisor at King’s is confident that the work could yet be published as a book. So much, then, for preconceptions of Olympic rowers as burnished jocks, dedicated exclusively to an existence in the gym. Grainger, like Watkins, is a woman whose answers crackle with intelligence and thoughtfulness. For her, the year of 2012 could yet end with the liberation of gold and her investiture as ‘Dr Katherine’.

“I’m just looking forward to the submission date and to having the title,†she says. “For a long time I felt as if I should always be worrying about what’s next. By the end of these Games, I hope that I won’t have to.â€

http://www.telegraph...na-Watkins.html

Sportsbeat's 12 gold medal bankers for London 2012

Home advantage is expected to improve this number, although there are plenty of examples of the pressure of a home Games becoming too much for medal ambitions - Liu Xiang in Beijing or Melissa Hollingsworth in Vancouver just two that spring to mind.

Sports statistics specialists Umbra - after reviewing data from all 2011's World Championships and other relevant world events and rankings in every Olympic discipline - show Team GB placing sixth on a relative medals table, with 59 medals in 13 sports. Australia - chief rivals for Team GB's target of another fourth place position on the medal table - won less medals, 36, but claimed 16 golds.

British officials still use the 'quality over quantity' approach when it comes to calculating medal table success - ten golds and no silvers or bronzes will always trump nine golds, nine silvers and nine bronzes. In North America, they prefer to calculate medal tables based on volume - which is why the USA, with 110 medals and 36 golds in Beijing, finished 'ahead' of China, with 100 medals but 51 gold, on the medal table produced by US based news service the Associated Press. Every Olympics throws up surprise champions but who are Great Britain's gold medal bankers for 2012? Here's some suggestions, a £10 perm bet would be worth having on this demon dozen.

Ben Ainslie, Sailing, Finn

Great Britain's three-time Olympic champion Ben Ainslie was disqualfied from two key races at the ISAF World Championships after an angry confrontation with a TV boat Ben Ainslie will be seeking his fourth Olympic gold - and fifth career medal - at London 2012, which probably makes him Britain's most decorated sailor since Horatio Nelson. After Beijing he focussed on big boat America's Cup sailing but has dominated since his return to Olympic classes, winning three ISAF World Cup regattas in 2011 and securing the official Olympic test event in Weymouth with ease. He was also on course for another world title in Melbourne before his well publicised run-in with a media boat, which perhaps only underlines his winning determination.

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, Sailing, Star

Iain Percy and Andrew 'Bart' Simpson probably would have defended their world title in Melbourne in December had it not been for the former's back injury forcing their withdrawal. Percy is looking for his third Olympic gold, having won the Finn class in Sydney and triumphed with Simpson in Beijing. If they gave podium positions for being 'bloody nice blokes', these two, off the water at least, would be right up there.

Alistair Brownlee, Triathlon

Alistair Brownlee was crowned world champion for the second time in his career in 2011 Alistair Brownlee, who will be supported by younger brother and training partner Jonathan, has dominated his sport for the last three years, winning the world title in 2009 and 2011. 2010 was marred by a stress fracture of the femur, which prevented him retaining his world title, but he did claim the European crown and still picked up a succession of high-profile race wins. He started 2011 with a heavy fall in Sydney but in the course of three weeks in June he won World Championship Series races in Madrid and Kitzbuhel and defended his European gold, despite a puncture on the bike leg which left him 30 seconds behind the leaders. He also won the Olympic test event in Hyde Park and emerged victorious in Beijing, the season's grand final.

Rebecca Adlington, Swimming, 800m freestyle

Rebecca Adlington claimed 800m freestyle gold at the World Championships in Shanghai Talk to Rebecca Adlington about London 2012 and she will usually start to fret about whether she will even qualify. And while her hopes of defending the 400m freestyle title she won in Beijing don't appear so good - Italy's Federica Pellegrini has started to dominate that discipline with two straight world titles and a world record - over double the distance Adlington is difficult to beat when at her best. But did suffer a hangover from her double gold in Beijing at the following year's World Championships, finishing a tearful fourth in her signature event in Rome. Another disappointment followed at the 2010 European Championships when she come home a sorry seventh but she led from start to finish to claim gold at the Commonwealth Games a few months later in Delhi.

In 2011 Adlington was back near her top level, claiming 400m silver at the World Championships in Shanghai behind Pellegrini and kicking away from Denmark's Lotte Friis to win her first world title over 800m - although the winning margin was not as comprehensive as her world record romp in Beijing.

Keri Anne Payne, Swimming, 10km open water

Keri Anne Payne was the first British athlete to secure her place on Team GB when she retained her world open water title in Shanghai. The sweltering conditions, with three competitors rescued from the water after suffering exhaustion, will certainly be contrasted with Hyde Park's Serpentine in August, although it's advisable to avoid the swans. But Payne led from start to finish, avoiding the flailing elbows, which make black eyes and broken noses common, to beat Italy's Martina Grimaldi by a second - although her authority over the two-hour long race makes that winning margin deceiving.

Sarah Stevenson, Taekwondo, Middleweight

Sarah Stevenson will start hot favourite to right the wrongs of Beijing with a gold medal in front her home crowd in London. Stevenson, who competes in taekwondo's middleweight category, won bronze in 2008 but only after she had been reinstated to the competition after judges initially incorrectly ruled she had been beaten by China's Chen Zhong in the last eight. But bronze was bittersweet for the 28-year old from Doncaster, who felt that after beating the gold medal favourite she was on course for the top of the podium. This year she underlined her class by winning the world title for the second time, ten years after her first success. But it was a tumultuous 12 months as both her parents, Diane and Roy, succumbed to the cancer they had been bravely fighting. She was also named Sunday Times sportswoman of the year and awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Katherine Grainger and Anna Wakins, Double sculls, Rowing

In Great Britain's all-conquering rowing team there would be few more popular Olympic champions than three-time silver medallist Katherine Grainger. Along with Anna Watkins she has dominated rowing's double sculls discipline in the last two years, winning the world title in 2010 and 2011. But Grainger was part of a quadruple sculls crew that showed similar form before Beijing and was again forced to settle for silver. However, no-one has touched Grainger and Watkins in 2011 and their win over Australia's Kerry Hore and Kim Crow at the worlds in Slovenia was commanding, if not as comprehensive as one year earlier in New Zealand.

Men's four, Rowing

Unbeaten at the Olympics since Sydney 2000, Great Britain men's coach Jurgen Grobler will be determined that the men's four, the long-time flagship crew of his team, will continue their winning run in London. Matthew Langridge, Richard Egington, Tom James and Alex Gregory sat in the seats to deliver the 2011 world title in Bled but Grobler has previously been ruthless in his pursuit of the winning formula in Olympic year. Andy Hodge and Pete Reed appeared determined to finally better New Zealand's Eric Murray and Hamish Bond - they haven't yet - in the men's pair after a succession of silvers but the pressure on Grobler to put his strongest rowers in one crew will be intense. Hodge, Reed and James - along with Steve Williams - followed in the wake of legendary names like Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell to win the men's four gold in Beijing. It would be harsh on the others but with Murray and Bond seemingly unbeatable in the pair, many are pushing for an Olympic super crew to be formed.

Women's team pursuit, Cycling

Considering Team GB won a thumping eight cycling gold medals in Beijing - there were days at a Laoshan velodrome when it appeared God Save the Queen was stuck on repeat - it might seem strange that only one cycling discipline is considered among our medal bankers. Cycling's world governing body have not helped Team GB's cause by dropping from their schedule two of the events in which British cyclists won gold, replacing the historic individual pursuit with the unloved omnium, a confusing six-event challenge. Mark Cavendish will be a serious contender for road race gold but the route is much more demanding than the one on which he triumphed at the Olympic test event or in Copenhagen, where he won the world title. He will also be supported by four men in London as opposed to the seven-strong team Great Britain took to Denmark and there is also question marks over the involvement of David Millar, a key factor in Cavendish's rainbow jersey success. Since Beijing, British Cycling has also seen the rest of the world step up but in the women's team pursuit, which makes its debut in London, they have been dominant. Combinations of cyclists have won rainbow jerseys at three of the last four World Championships with Laura Trott, Wendy Houvenaghel and Dani King successful earlier this year in Apeldoorn. Joanna Rowsell, a world champion in 2008 and 2009, is also challenging for selection in the three-strong team to underline an impressive strength in depth.

Jess Ennis, Athletics, Heptathlon

Jess Ennis knows she will need to break Denise Lewis's long-standing British record to win Olympic gold - and having been so close before there is no better place to do it than at London 2012. In some ways finishing second behind Tatyana Chernova at the World Championships in Daegu has only stiffened her resolve to complete her set of major championship gold medals at the Olympics. Ennis has dominated heptathlon for the past three years and is also motivated by the injury that denied her a Games debut in Beijing. Chernova though is the real deal too and Ennis can't afford not to deliver in her best events, such as the 100m hurdles, or below-par performances in the javelin and long jump, as happened in Korea. However, she's previously proved that she doesn't buckle under pressure - and success on August 4th could be London 2012's 'Cathy Freeman moment'.

Mo Farah, Athletics, 5000m

Mo Farah has certainly come a long way since the Beijing Olympics, when he trudged away from the Bird's Nest disconsolate after failing to make the final of the 5,000m. He will arrive in London as the world's most feared distance runner, following his 10,000m silver and 5,000m gold at the World Championships in Daegu and golden double at the previous year's European Championships in Barcelona. His relocation to the USA, where he now works with renowned coach Alberto Salazar, has been credited with his surge in form and 2011 has seen British and European records shattered and an encouraging half marathon debut in New York, which surely points to his long-term ambitions for Rio 2016. Dave Moorcroft, the former 5000 metres world record holder, has hailed Farah as 'the greatest male distance runner that Britain has ever seen'. It's a sentiment he might need to reword if Farah becomes the first male athlete to ever win the long-distance double at the Games - something legends such as Haile Gebrselassie never achieved.

Dai Greene, Athletics, 400m hurdles

If they were handing out medals for sporting profile, Dai Greene would not be featuring on or even near the podium at London 2012. Bizarrely, this likeable 400m hurdler gets little recognition for his achievements from a mass audience - even in his native Wales. Despite now holding the world, European and Commonwealth title he didn't even make the top three at the 2011 Welsh Sports Personality Awards, motorcyclist Chaz Davies, triathlete Helen Jenkins and Paralympic athlete Nathan Stephens gaining the most public votes. Greene could change all that in 2012 and will have nothing to fear having beaten all his rivals in Diamond League competitions and when it matters at major championships. He's also been backed by double Olympic 400m hurdles champion Ed Moses - who won the last of his title at his hometown Games in Los Angeles.

http://sportsbeat.co...ers-london-2012

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Going to the football tomorrow, can't wait :)

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Football shouldn't been in the Olympics, IMO. There is enough international tournaments including the World Cup, so why does it need to be in the Olympics? Most people don't associate it with the Olympics.

That also goes for tennis and I can not believe golf is going to be part of it in 2016. I thought the Olympics was suppose to be for non professionals?

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Well it was but that would rule out just about everybody these days.

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Football shouldn't been in the Olympics, IMO. There is enough international tournaments including the World Cup, so why does it need to be in the Olympics? Most people don't associate it with the Olympics.

That also goes for tennis and I can not believe golf is going to be part of it in 2016. I thought the Olympics was suppose to be for non professionals?

I'm not complaining as it's the only thing I managed to get tickets for!

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I'm not complaining as it's the only thing I managed to get tickets for!

Not surprise, it was always going to be a problem to try and fill large stadia with matches played between obscure countries.

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Football shouldn't been in the Olympics, IMO. There is enough international tournaments including the World Cup, so why does it need to be in the Olympics? Most people don't associate it with the Olympics.

That also goes for tennis and I can not believe golf is going to be part of it in 2016. I thought the Olympics was suppose to be for non professionals?

i think football has been in the Olympics before any international tournaments started im sure it pre dates the world cup.

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The ticket prices for the football were very reasonable though. I got the £20 tickets, and that includes 2 matches.

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i think football has been in the Olympics before any international tournaments started im sure it pre dates the world cup.

It does but obviously now it's totally eclipsed by the world cup.

I think we should bring back the tug of war where in 1908 the City of London Police won gold and the Liverpool police team got the silver. The Met police got the bronze. :lol:

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What's wrong with bog snorkelling? Synchronized bog-snorkelling?

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David Backham to kick off the games?

Front page of Thursday's Daily Star

AyrTsEZCEAAzg4L.jpg

Click picture for full size image

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Wrong flag people being refunded for the diving since the roof blocks the view and the cable car breaks down. Oops.

Anyway the GB womens football show more determination that England and win there game. Nice to see diving and rolling around hasn't invaded the womens game yet.

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Is it me or is Beckham starting to resemble a bad smell that just does not seem to go away?

Is he trying to hog the media spotlight just so he can squeeze some more money out of the embers of his career.

He has never even competed in the Olympics!

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The beeb are reporting its `Increasingly likely' tomorrow's Opening Ceremony will not sell out. There are still tickets on sale

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Over Hyped so some people are getting turned off by it. I mean do we need the breakfast news to talk about the people sweeping up. Not really.

It can also be watched on TV which will be cheaper which is probably the main reason.

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Over Hyped so some people are getting turned off by it. I mean do we need the breakfast news to talk about the people sweeping up. Not really.

It can also be watched on TV which will be cheaper which is probably the main reason.

And a lot of people (like myself) have no interest in the Olympics which will be another reason why there are tickets still left

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The only ones remaining at those at £1600 or £2012, might be more of a reason.

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And a lot of people (like myself) have no interest in the Olympics which will be another reason why there are tickets still left

Funny you have no interest and yet are posting in the Olympics thread? It must be drawing some interest.

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