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Stamps mark one-year countdown to London Olympics

A set of 10 stamps marking the one-year countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was unveiled by Britain's Royal Mail on Friday.

The batch of 10 first-class stamps, entitled "Get ready for 2012", will go on sale on July 27, exactly 12 months before the Olympics start.

They feature depictions of classic Olympic sports such as field athletics and gymnastics as well as more recent additions to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including triathlon, handball and wheelchair rugby.

The stamps are the third and final set to be issued during a three-year Games countdown, with the total of 30 representing the largest Royal Mail commission since the Millennium series in 1999 and 2000.

Jeanette Kwakye, a Team GB 100-metre sprinter, said they were "beautifully designed".

"All three sets provide a fitting tribute to the Olympic and Paralympic Games," she said.

Stephen Agar, director of regulated business at Royal Mail, said the stamps were a celebration "of what is set to be a great event in UK sporting history".

The creation of 30 stamps marks the fact that 2012 will be the start of the 30th Olympiad.

It also represents every one of the 29 sports in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the exception of athletics, which will be featured across two stamps as "Athletics: track" and "Athletics: field".

The designs are by 30 different artists, and will all feature either the 2012 Olympic Games or Paralympic Games logo.