Hollande twists the knife over France's success

French president told Cameron that Europe would pool its medals so Britain would be happy in the EU

It wasn't that long ago that our rivals in Paris were enjoying the only bit of sporting action they would get to see in the flesh this summer: a Brit bicycling down the Champs Élysées in a yellow jersey. But revenge is evidently an hors d'oeuvre best served froid.

While Team GB are yet to secure their first gold, the French have been cleaning up in the pool, and at the canoe slalom course, with a glut of gold medals that leave them behind only the Chinese and the Americans in the medal table.

Much is now being made of "The Curse of Cameron". The Prime Minister was present and correct for Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield's diving disappointment, as well Mark Cavendish's defeat in the road race. Prior to the Olympics, Mr Cameron watched on as Andy Murray was crushed by Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final.

Now the new French President François Hollande, right with the PM, has got in on the act. He thanked Mr Cameron for "rolling out the red carpet" for French athletes – an undisguised dig at Mr Cameron's red carpet jibe on welcoming French tax exiles to the UK – and told the British not to worry about the poor initial showing, saying that, never mind, Europe would pool its medals so Britain would at last be happy to be in the EU.

Talk about twisting the knife, Mr Hollande announced that France would be likely to bid for the 2024 Games, having learned lessons from London. "The problem is that there are simply too many corporate seats," he said. "We don't talk of money, we talk of gold."

But, fear not, there are reasons to be cheerful. Un, deux, trois, and indeed, quatre. The Prime Minister will not be attending any Olympic events over the next couple of days. Relief, then, for the likes of cyclist Lizzie Armitstead in the women's individual time trial and weightlifter Jack Oliver. The man of the hour, Bradley Wiggins will also be in action today. The rowing finals begin this morning, with serious gold medal hopes for Britain in the men's eight and the women's pair. The latter set an Olympic record in qualifying. And the medals are soon to be dished out at the sailing in Dorset, another British bastion.

And tomorrow, Team GB's Pringle-shaped house of gold, the Velodrome, finally opens for business. A nation hopes that, in the ever so slightly amended words of the non-official Olympics wheat-based snack provider, once you pop, you can't stop. Not that the French would ever eat such a thing, of course.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine