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Countdown to London 2012

Olympic Glory: Abebe Bikila
Olympic Glory: Abebe Bikila

Friday 27th July 2012. A date to remember. It has been a fifty-four year wait for London and now the Olympic opening ceremony is only hours away; the world waits in anticipation for the greatest sporting spectacle of all. If you are one of the many fans hoping for time to pass quickly so that the ceremony can begin, here's a story to inspire you all. When I sat down to watch The Athlete (2009), a film that depicts the life of the Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila, I knew that the two-time Olympic gold medalist would have an incredible sporting story to tell but his remarkable personal tale should inspire us all. ...

The men’s 100m at London 2012
The men’s 100m at London 2012

Usain Bolt's failure to win both the 100m and 200m finals at the Jamaican Olympic trials last week has become a major talking point in world athletics. The hero of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was completely outclassed by his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, who was the victor in both events. The prospect of an Olympic upset is being discussed among fans and critics alike. Alarm bells are ringing. However, the regular followers of Bolt will know that he likes to save his best form for the biggest stage. The 100m world record holder will be looking to run significantly faster than 9.86 seconds when he lines up to start in London. There is no doubt that Bolt's attempts to break the world record again will be grabbing all of the headlines before the start of the games. However, with Yohan Blake recording a time of 9.75, the fastest time this year, the 100m final could be the most closely contested and fastest final ever seen at a major championships. At 22 years of age, Blake looks ready to stamp his authority amongst the sprinting elite. His rise to the top would not surprise those who have followed him closely. Now the fourth fastest man ever, he still holds the record as the youngest sprinter to run under 10 seconds, which he completed at 19 years and 196 days. ...

French Open reaches fever pitch
French Open reaches fever pitch

Since my last post, the French Open 2012 has already provided us with unbelievable matches and plenty of splendid displays from the tennis elite. In the women's draw, the biggest shock was the exit of Serena Williams in the first round. Since entering her first Grand Slam event in 1998, she had never lost at this stage in a major tournament. Virginie Razzano, the French number four, completed this astonishing victory after eight match points in an incredible 25-minute final game. After my comments on Monday, saying that Maria Sharapova's biggest obstacle in winning the career slam is Serena Williams; it should follow that Sharapova is now the outright favourite. If her first round demolition of Alexandra Cadantu, which ended in a 6-0 6-0 scoreline, is replicated on Friday then this must be the case. ...

Countdown to London 2012: 100 days to go
Countdown to London 2012: 100 days to go

With only 100 days to go until the Olympic games begin Play with Flair is celebrating this milestone by looking back 100 years to the Olympic games in Stockholm 1912. This was the first Olympic games where competitors from all five continents were represented but this was not the only new inclusion there. Stockholm also introduced much of the techonology that we now take for granted including the first use of the photo finish. ...