Protester in a tutu wrecks diving final

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The Independent Online

Greek Olympic officials last night began an investigation into security after an interloper dressed in a tutu plunged a diving competition into chaos.

Greek Olympic officials last night began an investigation into security after an interloper dressed in a tutu plunged a diving competition into chaos.

The three-metre synchronised diving, featuring the British pair Tony Ally and Mark Shipman, was approaching its climax when the impostor, with lettering emblazoned on his bare chest, climbed on to a board and dived into the pool. The man, who had been sitting among the 2,000-strong crowd at the Aquatic Centre, was pulled out of the water by a lifeguard and removed from the venue by police for questioning while the divers struggled to regain composure.

Worst affected were the Chinese pair, Bo Peng and Kenan Wang, who lost their lead and any chance of a medal when one of them landed in the water on his back to produce a zero score out of ten. The Russian pair, Dmitri Sautin and Alexander Dobroskok, then squandered a chance of gold when one of them struck the board on descent.

The main beneficiaries of the fiasco were the Greek pair, Nikolaos Siranidis and Thomas Bimis, who emerged as victors to claim the host nation's first gold medal of the games.

The British pair, who were in last place in the early stages, climbed to fifth but were clearly dismayed by the events.

Ally, 31, from Luton, said: "The competition was totally bizarre. This joker jumped on the board and everything went downhill from there. That's why there were so many mess ups. The whole ball game in diving is that you concentrate as if nothing else around you exists."

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