Outside Edge

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The Independent Online

Faced with having to raise over £100,000 to fund your training for the 2012 Olympics, what to do?

If you're Logan Campbell, New Zealand's taekwondo champion, you open a brothel, which is apparently legal in those parts. Oldest sporting event meets oldest profession. In other news, a brothel in Berlin is doing its bit for healthy exercise and saving the planet by offering a discount to customers who arrive by bicycle. They save nearly a fiver if they pedal up to the premises and the owner, Thomas Goetz, says enthusiastically: "It's good for business, it's good for the environment – and it's good for the girls." No word yet on whether masochistic clients favour sit-up-and-beg bikes.


The amount raised for local libraries by the California Rodeo Association's 22nd annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which also featured a wine tasting. Sounds more Mild West than Wild West these days.

Mechanical mayhem of the week

Be afraid, be very afraid; the machines are fighting back. Last week in Ulster, Paul Kelly pleaded guilty to damaging a mechanical punchbag in an amusement arcade. He said in mitigation that he hit the bag so hard he felt he was entitled to a payout, but not only did the machine fail to cough up any cash, the bag swung back and hit him on the jaw. In Japan, distributors have withdrawn an arm-wrestling machine after three players broke their arms as they battled electronic adversaries who included a French maid and a chihuahua (no, we don't understand either). "We think that maybe some players get over-excited," said a spokesman. Must be that French maid.

Good week for...

Alan Pardew, returned to football management with Southampton... Zac Sutherland of the US, became at 17 the youngest sailor to make a solo circumnavigation of the globe... and Johanne Brekke, Sharon Lee and Michelle Smith, earned gold for Britain at the European Shooting Championships.

Bad week for...

Sebastien Bourdais, French F1 driver, sacked by the Toro Rosso team in mid-season... England women's hockey team, humbled 4-0 by Australia in the Champions Trophy in Sydney... Kate Heywood, Lincolnshire swimmer, forced to withdraw from this month's World Long Course Championships in Rome with a hip injury... and Canterbury, New Zealand sportswear firm, whose European subsidiary has been placed in administration.

Puff of the week

"The English like eccentrics, they just don't like them living next door," the resolutely normal Julian Clary once opined, but there was no sign of him at the World Peashooting Championship in Witcham, Cambridgeshire, last Saturday. The winner probably had plenty of neighbours present among the spectators, though, as local novice Jim Collins blew away the opposition. What's more, he did it with a traditional peashooter while others, including the three-time champion George Hollis, favoured fancy laser-guided models originally pioneered by an avionics expert from the nearby American airbase at Lakenheath. Perhaps he was a member of the US peas-keeping forces.