Paralympic Shorts: Two short as African nations fail to make line-up

 

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The Independent Online

Publishers of London 2012 trivia guides will be fuming after Malawi's two Paralympic athletes, the visually impaired sprinters Chisomo Jeremani and Janet Shedani, withdrew hours before the Games began, changing the number of competing nations from 166 to 165.

Malawi was swiftly followed by Botswana, which also pulled its sole competitor – leaving 164 competing nations. The president of the Malawi Paralympic Committee had raised concerns about the limited financial support from government and corporate sponsors.

A notice at odds with the Olympic spirit...

The nation hasn't been entirely overwhelmed by optimism in the wake of the Olympics, it would seem. A cynical notice appeared on an anonymous London train station's announcement board offering predictions for what would happen at last night's opening ceremony. "Tonight's odds: parachuting royalty – 500/1; Wheelchair disco – 50/1; Emeli Sande – evens; Hey Jude – grimly inevitable."

Lord Coe's waiting Games

He was praised for the brilliant organisation of the Games, but Lord Coe is no timekeeper. Journalists gathered yesterday in the media village for a welcoming speech from the Chairman of the Organising Committee and a drinks reception and were "entertained" by a steel-drum band that "kept playing the same song, or at least that's what it sounded like" until Lord Coe finally showed up 40-minutes late. And Lord Coe's speech? "Nothing memorable," our source said.

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