Olympic athletes stay away from London rain

LONDON // Athletes flooding into Britain for the London Olympics may not now need reinforced umbrellas with drier weather predicted in the build-up to the Games although sun cream is unlikely to be required.

After being swamped by unusually wet weather for months, the clouds were higher and whiter and there were even patches of blue as athletes checked in to the Olympic Village yesterday.

While the Met Office confirmed that there were some encouraging signs, the improvement came too late to convince some of China's top athletes to arrive early.

Top hurdler Liu Xiang, according to his coach, had headed to Germany to tune up rather than risk tweaking muscles in the build up to his quest for gold in the 110 hurdles.

He pulled out of the hurdles final at London's Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace last Saturday after complaining of muscle aches, before leaving the capital.

"Other Chinese teams have also chosen to move their base thanks to London's cold weather, so Liu Xiang is not the only one," coach Sun Haiping was quoted in the China Daily website.

Britain is on course for the worst summer in living memory, with warm, sunny days able to be counted on the fingers of one hand so far.

Physiologist Steve Ingham of the English Institute said for the short, powerful, explosive events such as track sprints, the muscles need to be warm because their contraction is then more efficient.

"They would not necessarily be dramatically slow but they would not be optimally fast," if the weather was cold or wet, he said.

In contrast, the cold should help marathon runners because they will not accumulate heat at such a great rate.

Bookmakers William Hill are factoring in the weather in the odds it is offering, saying it expects fewer records to be broken in London because of the miserable weather.

However, there may be some good news for organisers fearing soggy sandpits in the Olympic Stadium, muddy equestrian courses and howling gales at the sailing regatta.

"There are signs that by the end of this week we should have normal summer weather," said Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers.

"Certainly we are not expecting a heatwave, but the shift in the weather pattern means there will be more of the traditional north-west, south-east divide.

"The south of Britain should have higher pressure and lighter winds by the end of the week and that could be the case for next week too, although it's too early to predict exactly what we can expect on the first weekend of the Games."

"I've heard reports of hot sunshine, but I think that's maybe a bit over-enthusiastic. We should have longer dry spells and more normal temperatures though."

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

If you go

The flights
There are various ways of getting to the southern Serengeti in Tanzania from the UAE. The exact route and airstrip depends on your overall trip itinerary and which camp you’re staying at. 
Flydubai flies direct from Dubai to Kilimanjaro International Airport from Dh1,350 return, including taxes; this can be followed by a short flight from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti with Coastal Aviation from about US$700 (Dh2,500) return, including taxes. Kenya Airways, Emirates and Etihad offer flights via Nairobi or Dar es Salaam.   


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government


Director: Khalid Fahad

Starring: Shaima Al Tayeb, Wafa Muhamad, Hamss Bandar

Rating: 3/5

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