Twitter blamed for jamming Olympic information during cycle road race

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By Andrew Warshaw at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London


In the first broadcasting controversy of London 2012, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pledged today that the problems which beset yesterday's men's cycle road race were "teething troubles" which would not be repeated.

The BBC and other broadcasters registered concerns with the IOC about a lack of key timing data that left millions of viewers baffled and unable to follow the race properly.

The IOC's broadcasting arm, Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), provides TV pictures to networks around the world.

But for large periods of time yesterday there was no information about the gaps between the various teams with OBS unable to supply crucial information to commentators.

With around one million people lining the roads for the race networks became jammed by too much tweeting, preventing organisers from receiving crucial timing and positional updates.

As a result, said IOC spokesman Mark Adams, crucial GPS data could not be received.

He said that OBS was now attempting to disperse its communications onto other networks so that information could be received.

"From my understanding one network was oversubscribed and OBS are trying to spread the load to other providers," said Adams.

"We don't want to stop people engaging in social media and sending updates, but perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates.

"Of course, if you want to send something, we are not going to say 'Don't, you can't do it', and we would certainly never prevent people.

"It's just [a case of] if it's not an urgent, urgent one, please take it easy."

Adams said talks had taken place late last night and early this morning in attempt to solve the issue.

"We are taking action on a number of things," he said.

"It's a network issue, teething troubles, and it is that which we are working on."

Rousseau on FIH Board

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Former president of the Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board, Maureen Craig Rousseau, was elected to the Executive Board of the International Hockey Federation as an ordinary member, securing one of the two positions available for new female members on the Board.
Her election came at the 44th International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Congress, held from October 29 to Sunday in Marrakesh, Morocco.
The Congress was titled the “Hockey Revolution Congress”and the FIH revealed its new ten-year strategy set to deliver a global sport, inspiring the next generation of hockey players. The FIH laid out its goals for the next ten years for hockey based around entertainment, professionalism, image and following.
Craig Rousseau’s vast experience as an administrator has been gained from exposure over the last 30 years, including among them director and vice-president for (Pan American Hockey Federation), with responsibility for the Caribbean over the past 12 years to date.


Cleo's journey and the CAC Games

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The Central American and Caribbean Games have been an integral part of my development as a shot putter. During my early career CAC Games medals were not guaranteed, as I came up against a crew, of world class Cuban throwers. However, these epic battles prepared me for the world stage. I can recall being extremely proud and excited to medal at my first CAC Games in Cartagena Columbia. At this meet I had to better the Olympic standard to medal due to the intense nature of the competition. At the Puerto Rico 2010 Games I also had to produce a big effort to walk away with the win. This year I am excited for the CAC Games, to represent T&T and hopefully inspire the next generation of female throwers.

While the CAC region is not predominantly know for producing female athletes in the throwing events, I believe that there is a lot of untapped talent in the region. I almost missed my calling, and did not really start throwing seriously until I was 18 years old. I came from the small village of Mayaro, where opportunities to throw were scarce. I did not get my chance until I migrated for College, and walked on to the Track and Field Team at Coppin State College. I had no throwing experience, but my collegiate coaches Gorden Rackley and Brian King molded me into a NCAA National Champion. As a result of my NCAA win I was encouraged to train for the 2004 Olympic Games. I moved from the lively urban setting of Baltimore, Maryland to the rural and tranquil town of Blacksburg, Virgina to work with Coach Gregory Jack. Coach Jack not only assisted me in achieving the Olympic Standard, but he accompanied me to my first CAC Games. The Games were very important to us, because as I mentioned earlier my competitors were fierce. At this time I was the only female shot putter from T&T, but I was in the company of our amazing hammer thrower Candice Scott. Together we brought some serious “girl power” to the team. Candice and I pushed each other, expecting only the best. With tons of hard work by my second CAC Games in Puerto Rico I knew I could throw over 19m and possibly win.

I am quite proud of my accomplishments at the last CAC Games, I was coaching myself at the time, and I was ready to throw far. Two thousand and ten was one of my best Track and Field seasons. The CAC Games were also very successful for Team T&T. I remember the team atmosphere being positive, and the medals coming in on a daily basis. I worked extremely hard to prepare for the 2010 Games, but it can not compare to the body of work my coach, Ismael Lopez Mastrapa and I have put in this year. Coach did not take it easy on me as we prep for the final meet of the year. As I look back on my many years as a competitor the CAC level it has never been easy. There has always been something or someone to push me to a new level. Mastrapa and I are aware that this meet falls well outside track season, but as always the CAC Games will be crucial to my success.  

St Kitts/Nevis' Williams sent home

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St. Kitts & Nevis sprinter Tameka Williams has been sent home from the London Olympics by her team for a potential drug violation.

Williams had been using a substance which was "clearly oyesteron Sunday.

Knight said Williams had not tested positive, but the team acted after consulting with the World Anti-Doping Agency "to find out about the product."

"In discussions with our team management, she volunteered to them that she had been using a particular substance which, when we did our own investigations, we considered to be outside the accepted medical code," Knight said.

Williams told team officials about using the substance — which the team has not disclosed — in a pre-Olympics training camp.

"It was a matter of the management of the team doing their due diligence," Knight said.

The 22-year-old Williams had qualified for the 100 and 200 metres, and gave samples for anti-doping tests at national Olympic trials last month.

"It was not based on any positive drug test. She turned up a clean test," Knight said.

Williams marched at the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday as the only woman in a seven-member team from the Caribbean islands, who are all track sprinters. The best known is five-time Olympian Kim Collins.

Knight said St Kitts team officials sought expert advice in London before acting.

"We wanted to consult with the anti-doping fraternity," he said. "We are a very tiny country with limited knowledge of these things."

Indians upset by mystery woman marching alongside them in Opening Ceremony

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India have complained to London 2012 over an apparent security lapse during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics last night when an unidentified woman walked alongside flag-bearer Sushil Kumar during the athletes' parade.

The young woman, dressed in a red shirt and blue trousers, marched next to the weightlifter, a bronze medallist at Beijing four years ago, despite having no visible accreditation.

India's Chef de Mission P K Muralidharan Raja has now complained to London 2012 about the incident which has become the main talking point in India about the much-praised Opening Ceremony.

"She had no business to walk in with the Indian contingent and we are taking up the issue with the organisers," he said.

"We don't know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in.

"It is a shame that she was with the athletes in the march past.

"We were initially told that she would accompany the contingent till the track but she went on to take the entire lap.

"There was another man also but he stayed back and did not enter the Stadium.

"We have taken strong exception to this.

"The march past is for the athletes and officials attached to the contingent.

"We are totally taken by surprise how a person could just intrude into the track."

A total of 40 Indian athletes and 11 officials dressed in traditional blazers and Rajasthani yellow turbans or yellow sarees marched in the Opening Ceremony, earning one of the biggest cheers of the evening.

"The Indian contingent was shown for hardly ten seconds in the television coverage and the entire focus sadly was on this lady, instead of the athletes," said Raja.

It is a major issue for Raja to take over having only been promoted to the role of Chef de Mission on the eve of the Opening Ceremony after Ajitpal Singh, the original choice, was unable to travel here due to a serious back problem.

By Duncan Mackay at the Main Press Centre in the Olympic Park in London