...AND IT'S BEEN A BAD WEEK BRITAIN'S COMPETITORS, TOO

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The Independent Online
When even the Wimbledon hero, Tim Henman, cannot set Atlanta alight, it really is bad news for Great Britain. Henman, the first home player to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for 23 years, joined the list of British failures at the greatest show on earth when he was knocked out of the men's tennis in the second round by the Australian Todd Woodbridge.

His defeat added to the misery of the judo squad, who after 15 medals in the six previous Olympics, look set to end up with no glory at all from 13 fighters. Our two boxers said a quick goodbye to the ring, the hockey teams look unlikely to gain medals and the swimmers failed to raise a ripple, except for Paul Palmer's silver medal in the 400 metres freestyle.

Even Steve Redgrave's Olympic history bid looks somewhat wobbly after two unimpressive performances in the coxless pairs event with Matthew Pinsent. They appeared out of sorts in qualifying for today's final.

The individual three-day event provided another tale of woe. As in the team competition, Britain slipped out of the medal reckoning after a below- par cross-country display. Mary King, on King William, slid from first after the dressage to seventh.

Shooting and beach volleyball provided no relief, with Jonathan Stern finishing 48th of the 52 competitors in the men's 50m free rifle prone qualifiers, and Audrey Cooper and Amanda Glover having sand rubbed in their faces by the Australians on the beach.

The badminton team conjured only one win in the first round of the men's doubles, with three other pairings going out, while a virus-hit Graeme Obree performed so poorly in the cycling pursuit that all concerned thought it better he pulled out of next week's time trial.

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