London Eye - Wanted: one flag-bearer, must be tall and handsome


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The Independent Online

"He or she needs to be tall, handsome and influential". No, you have not stumbled across the personal ads section, these are the words of China's chef de mission, Xiao Tian, who is flirting with his announcement of the country's flag-bearer for Friday's opening ceremony.

The identity of China's flag-bearer has been shrouded in mystery, but Xiao cryptically revealed yesterday that the chosen athlete "should well represent the image of China. He or she needs to have an impressive record in sports, be tall, handsome and influential".

Using such clues to narrow down the list of suspects, the Chinese media have speculated that the bearer will be either 6ft 2in hurdler Liu Xiang, who won gold in Athens in 2004, or world champion swimmer Sun Yang (6ft 6in).

The suspense is over for the Irish, however, with four-time women's world boxing champion Katie Taylor being yesterday confirmed as flag-bearer for the Republic. She, incidentally, is 5ft 7in.

Picture of the day: Banksy takes games aim

Elusive millionaire street artist Banksy couldn't help himself but get into the spirit of the London Games, posting a couple of new pieces with an Olympic theme on his website, including a javelin thrower about to lob a missile. At the time of press, the location of the graffiti has not yet been found, so don't all rush out at once...

Tweets of the day

Now have practice in the Olympic training venue in Canning Town!! I can't get anymore home than this. In fact I can see my home! Peter Bakare, GB volleyball

Entering the London 2012 Olympic Village later 2day!! Andrew Baggaley, GB table tennis

Another session done in preparation for thursday, looking forward to playing at my home ground in such a big event Tom Cleverley, GB football

Family affair for sprinter Tarmoh

While most athletes preparing for the Games are starting to shut themselves off from the world to get into the zone, the American sprinter Jeneba Tarmoh is taking a different route, meeting her half-brother for the first time.

Her half-brother John Mannah lives in London after moving from Sierra Leone when he was a child, and the reunion has been planned ever since she made the US squad for the Games. "It's going to be great running and meeting my brother for the first time, having my nieces and nephews watch me in my element," she said.

Watson handed late place in draw

Britain will have a third competitor in the women's singles after Heather Watson was given a place in the main draw yesterday.

The 20-year-old takes her place in the 64-strong field following the withdrawal of the injured Alona Bondarenko. Watson will join fellow Britons Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong in the singles line-up.

2 days to go to The Games

The city of London has hosted the Olympic Games on two previous occasions, in 1908 and 1948.