Olympic Shorts: Naked ambition of Ukrainian feminists offers a volleyball sideshow


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Something, finally, to distract corporate London's ogling gents from the beach volleyball. Four topless Ukrainians from the feminist activist group Femen were arrested while staging an "Islamic marathon" outside City Hall yesterday. The women smeared blood on themselves and bore the slogan "No Sharia" across their breasts. They were calling for the International Olympic Committee to ban countries which implement Sharia law from competing at the Games. Officers covered the women and arrested them under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which covers "harassment, alarm or distress".

Phelps gets a call from Obama

Michael Phelps has been delighting in the accolade of becoming the greatest Olympian ever. The highest honour of all was a personal call he received. Over to Phelps: "I answered the phone and they were, like, 'Michael?' And I said, 'Yes.' And they said, 'Please hold for the President of the United States.' And I was, like, 'OK'." Phelps added that Obama "finished by saying, 'Make sure you tell your mom I said hi'."

North Korea takes shot at the West

North Korean athletes have already won four golds, and the Korean Central News Agency has rolled out its purple prose for the country's isolated inhabitants: "Their successes represent the inexhaustible strength of the DPRK, which can never be gauged by the Western view of value and criterion."

Silver medallist sleeps in chamber

Michael Jamieson, GB's silver medallist in the 200m breaststroke, and a fellow swimmer, have been using training techniques that would shame Rocky IV's Ivan Drago.

They are sleeping in altitude chambers, which trick the body into producing more oxygen. "They've been set up in the bedrooms," says their trainer at Bath University, Steve Baddeley. "One was sleeping at 2,800 metres and another at 2,400 metres."

Spicy end to the Olympics?

Rumours abound that the Spice Girls have been secretly rehearsing their role in the closing ceremony. Victoria Beckham sent a tweet saying she'd "found" her sparkly microphone. Let's hope she doesn't find the "on" button.

On guard! Fencer on Tube

Venezuelan fencer Ruben Limardo hopped on the Tube after winning the gold medal in the individual epée, prompting admiring gazes. The 26-year-old left-hander appeared to love the attention in a picture posted on Twitter.