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Wimbledon stars not cut out for Village life

india Updated: Jul 25, 2012 00:15 IST
London games

Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova are among a host of top tennis stars who have snubbed the Athletes' Village in a bid to avoid the travel headaches that have plagued the build-up to the Olympics.

While the majority of their compatriots competing at the Games will be staying at the village at the Olympic site in Stratford, east London, Federer, Sharapova and many of their peers will be on the other side of the capital in plush rented accommodation within walking distance of Wimbledon, which is staging the nine-day tennis event.

Federer, Azarenka top seeds
World number one players Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka will head the list of seeded players in the draws for the London Olympics' tennis tournament.

The draw will be held at Wimbledon on Thursday for the star-packed tennis competition beginning Saturday.

Each of the singles tournaments has 64 competitors, with 16 seeds based on the world rankings of June 11.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Federer aims to win his first Olympic singles medal, having captured mixed doubles gold with Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Reigning gold medallist Rafael Nadal was forced to withdraw from the event with knee tendinitis.

‘Toilet trouble’ at Games Village
Transport and security woes came visiting the London Olympics organisers in ample measure ahead of the greatest sporting show on earth, forcing the athletes to experience a different kind of trouble at the Games Village Sharing of a toilet among four, and sometimes even by six athletes, is causing strain and forcing some of them to alter their morning schedules so as to manage essential routines.

"It's amazing that competitors have to get used to these sort of things at the biggest event of the world. This may just be design issue for the flats, but the athletes are getting quite stressed," said an Indian official.

Idowu yet to hand in medical records
Triple jumper Phillips Idowu has been asked to provide British Olympic officials with his medical records, but has yet to do so. Idowu pulled out of Britain's final Olympic training camp in Portugal which prompted the BOA to invoke a clause in their team member's agreement that allows them to ask for information from an athlete that "could impact on their performance at the Games". BOA spokesman Darryl Seibel said on Tuesday that they had yet to receive that information.

Idowu is set to compete at the Games on Aug. 7 and is among the gold medal favourites having claimed silver in Beijing four years ago. The 33-year-old pulled out of his last event in Oregon in June but said stories suggesting he was injured were "rumour mill". He is likely to be someway short of peak condition should he recover in time for the Games having competed in only three competitions this year.

Big Ben to chime 40 times
London's iconic Big Ben will chime 40 times in three minutes on Friday as part of a mass bell- ringing event marking the start of the Olympics.

It is believed to be the first time the bell has rung outside its regular schedule since February, 15, 1952 when it tolled every minute for 56 strokes for the funeral of King George VI.

Organisers hope it will set a world record for the largest number of bells rung simultaneously. For its part, Big Ben will have to be rung by hand, unlike the hourly chimes, which are automated.