Great Jamaican 100 m Duel between Usain Bolt & Yohan Blake at soon / London 2012 Olympics News

The Olympics is the stage on which fierce one-to-one battles will be decided… Usain Bolt v Yohan Blake in the 100m and 200m is certainly one to watch.

In theory, this might be the friendliest deadly rivalry in the macho, muscle-flexing history of men’s sprinting, with both swearing that the most animated their animosity ever gets is probably over a game of dominoes.

Bolt, the sorceror, and Blake, the apprentice, have trained alongside each other for four years under the wise eyes of coaching guru Glen Mills on the blue University of West Indies track in Kingston, Jamaica. From a relationship which began with Blake, a slightly awe-struck teenager more than three years Bolt’s junior, simply soaking up the lessons from the greatest sprinter in history, the gap has narrowed to the point of invisibility.

In a way, Bolt predicted this. “Watch out for Yohan Blake. He works like a beast. He’s there with me step for step in training,” he noted after the youngster had taken the initiative to better himself at Mills’ Racers Track Club in 2008.

Then it was easier for Bolt to be magnanimous. Like everyone else, in their first five 100metres races and one 200m clash, Blake could get nowhere near the phenomenon but last year everything began to change when Bolt false-started in the final of the World Championship 100m and then, masking his own bitter disappointment, had to watch and applaud Blake’s victory.

That calamity, though, was not as wounding to Bolt as losing at the recent Olympic trials to his training partner at both 100m and 200m. The latter defeat was his first by anyone at the half-lap event for five years and, increasingly, the pair are spending fewer training sessions alongside each other as the rivalry inevitably and quietly intensifies.

Sir Chris Hoy To Carry Team GB Flag At London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

Sir Chris Hoy will carry the flag for Team GB at Friday’s opening ceremony of London 2012, the British Olympic Association have confirmed.

It is the second successive time the cyclist has been given the honour – he also carried the Union Jack at the closing ceremony in Beijing four years ago.

The Scot, a gold medal winner at the two previous Games, won the biggest number of votes among the 542 members of the British team.

Others who also received support included Alison Williamson, the archer who will be competing at her sixth Olympics.

A number of other possible candidates such as sailor Ben Ainslie and swimmer Rebecca Adlington were not on the shortlist as, because of their competition demands, they are not able to attend the opening ceremony.

Hoy said: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to have been voted as the flagbearer for Team GB. To lead out your team at a home Olympics is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that I can’t wait to experience in just a few days’ time.”

Team GB’s Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: “Team GB could not have placed the flag in better hands. It is a great honour for Sir Chris and the team will be proud to march behind him. He is a fantastic ambassador for his sport and his country.”

London 2012 Olympics Short News:  four days to go – as it happened

• Injury concerns surrounding Olympic silver medallist Phillips Idowu intensified with confirmation the triple jumper has not travelled to the British team’s training camp in Portugal.

• G4S is being replaced at St James’s Park in Newcastle, three days before Olympic football matches are due to start being played there. Five hundred staff belonging to local security firms are being called in instead.

• Hundreds of foreign visitors queued for hours to pick up Olympic tickets at the offices of the CoSport ticket agents in Paddington, central London, amid chaotic scenes. Many had to leave before being able to pick up their tickets. Others complained of being seated far away from family members, or of tickets not being there to collect.

• Chris Hoy has been chosen to carry the British flag in the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday. The gold-medallist said he was “delighted and honoured” and it was a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

• Boris Johnson is going to read a specially written Olympic ode for the International Olympic Committee today. The poem, written by Dr Armand D’Angour of the University of Oxford, will then be engraved in bronze at the Olympic Park. Bookmaker William Hill has changed its odds to 100-1 from 66-1 on bets that Johnson will accidentally set his wild hair on fire with the Olympic torch. This follows the mayor getting a haircut.

• Daniel Sturridge has said that his meningitis left him struggling to walk as he thanked Chelsea’s doctor for helping him recover to take up his place in Team GB’s Olympic football squad.

• Up to 1,000 members of the RMT union at South West trains are going to work to rule, working no overtime, from Friday and throughout the Games in a dispute over an Olympic bonus payment. The workers rejected the idea of going on strike. Union members working on the Boris bikes cycle hire scheme will strike for 48 hours from Friday morning in a similar row. Hundreds of RMT members employed by Transport for London – back office staff, information centre staff, and transport museum staff – will also go on strike for 24 hours on Friday after failing to secure a deal over a bonus. Border staff are also due to strike on Thursday. Essex firefighters have cancelled two days of planned strike action which coincided with Olympic mountain biking events.

• Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, paid tribute today to the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Games.

• Britain’s Marilyn Okoro intends to put the controversy of her 800, omission behind her to concentrate on the one opportunity she does have at London 2012. The 27-year-old Londoner initially considered retiring after being overlooked by the Great Britain selectors for the home Olympics in her favoured event. She was one of four female athletes to have achieved the A standard time in the 800m but not make the squad as Lynsey Sharp, despite only having the B standard, was picked on better form. Okoro has since accepted a place in the squad for the 4x400m relay and withdrawn her threat to quit athletics. She said: “I am really excited. It is a bit bittersweet for me as obviously I am not competing in my main discipline, but I have still got a fantastic opportunity in the 4x400m.”

• Michelle Obama will be travelling to London to attend the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony, the White House has announced.

• Sir Paul McCartney says he has not dared to intervene in Danny Boyle’s plans for his part in the Olympic opening ceremony. The former Beatle said: “He’s got an idea of what he wants us to do and to tell you the truth I’m pretty much listening to him. I mean I could say ‘this could be better or that could be better’, but he knows what he’s got, he knows how the rest of the show goes and he’s stuck me on at the end – I can tell you that much. No pressure there.”

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