Eyes On London
SEVEN AND OUT
Jorgen Persson has probably just played in his final Olympics. That's saying something. This is his seventh.
Persson and his Swedish teammates were beaten 3-1 Friday by Germany in the team competition.
Persson, 46, is one of three table tennis players to play in every Olympics since 1988, when the game was first introduced into the games.
The other two — Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium and Zoran Primorac of Croatia — lost in singles and are not playing the team event. They have said they are unlikely to return. Persson feels the same way.
— Stephen Wade — Twitter: http:twitter.com/StephenWadeAP
SLIM AND TRIM
All the hard work Tianna Madison has put in over the last eight months is starting to pay off.
The American sprinter ran a blazing 10.97 in the 100 on Friday to advance to the semifinals.
Madison says she's dropped 20 pounds (9 kilos) since September to reshape her body and prepare for the Olympics.
"It's making all the difference for me," Madison says. "I talked with my husband and we decided it's time to step up and get serious about training and that's what we did."
— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http:www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski
There's still one group that loves the training pool for athletes at the former Olympic village in Athens.
They sit on debris that floats on the pool's murky waters.
Eight years after the 2004 Athens Games, many of the Olympic venues Greece built at great expense remain abandoned or rarely used. They are the focus of public anger as the country struggles through a fifth year of recession and nearly three years of a debt crisis that has sent poverty and unemployment soaring,
At the Athens venue for softball — a sport unknown in Greece and already out of the Summer Olympics — the occasional weed is all that remains on the dried-out field.
With no shortage of real beaches in Greece, the purpose-built beach volleyball stadium has seen minimal use.
The athletes village itself has fared somewhat better, turned into housing for workers.
— Elena Becatoros — Twitter http:twitter.com/ElenaBec
AP's Nicole Winfield had a rare glimpse inside the athletes' dining area. Here's what some of them are eating: Traditional English breakfast, complete with fried eggs, black pudding, roasted tomatoes; kimchi and miso soup, lamb samosas and baba ganoush and, this being the Olympics, McDonald's.
Conspicuously absent: poppy seeds. ("It will show up on an anti-doping test," chief caterer Jan Matthews says.) And alcohol. The village is officially dry.
— Nicole Winfield — www.twitter.com/nwinfield
DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE
Just saw a group of sprinters get kicked out of the stands — in brusque manner — by a security guard here at Olympic Stadium.
They filed their way up the stairs and into one of the media areas. "Leave. Leave. Leave," the guard told them. They balked. "Leave now or I'll have you removed by force."
I asked the guard what the deal was and he said, simply, that their credentials didn't allow them to be there and they were taking up space and clogging up the aisleways.
OK, so, what if Usain Bolt walked up here and wanted to watch?
"I'd do the exact same thing," the guard said.
— Eddie Pells — www.twitter.com/epells
RED, WHITE AND BLUE
U.S. runners Sanya Richards-Ross and DeeDee Trotter won their 400-meter qualifying races Friday with relative ease — and in stylish fashion.
Richards-Ross wore an all-red combination, with her fingernails painted different versions of red, white and blue.
Trotter had a small American flag painted next to her right eye — complete with glitter and sparkling jewels.
"This is a mild version of what you'll get in the finals," Trotter says. "This is just the beginning. Tomorrow it'll be a little more dramatic, right 'til we get to the war paint to where it's really on to get there and get that grind on."
Trotter raced in heavy rain at Olympic Stadium. And no surprise, she was prepared for it. Trotter's face paint was waterproof.
"It's sweatproof, too," she says.
Richards-Ross has more outfits planned for Saturday and beyond.
"We have so many different options in our kit now, so I feel it's cool to be able to wear different outfits through the rounds," she says. "This is first-round look. I'll have something else on tomorrow."
— Mark Long — Twitter http:twitter.com/apmarklong
Best avoid the Olympic swimming pool until it's drained after the games: American swimming star Ryan Lochte, who won five medals in London, has admitted to urinating in the pool.
Not during the races, he told U.S. broadcaster Ryan Seacrest — "but I sure did in warmup."
Um ... why? "I think there's just something about getting into chlorine water that you just automatically go."
— Rob Harris — Twitter http:twitter.com/robharris