Saudi Arabia says women can compete

Posted: June 26, 2012

LONDON - The Saudi Embassy in London says the kingdom will permit women to compete in the London Olympics - provided they qualify.

The embassy said in a statement issued Sunday that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will oversee the participation of women athletes "who can qualify for the games."

An official in Saudi Arabia, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, says an announcement by King Abdullah about Saudi women's first-ever participation in the Olympics was expected some days ago, but was postponed after the death of Crown Prince Nayef.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. So far no women have qualified, though athletes in judo and in track and field are considered possibilities.

Carrying the torch

The head of the London Games organizing committee has finally got his hands on the Olympic torch.

Sebastian Coe, the best-known face of the games, ran a leg of the torch route on Monday in his home city of Sheffield, northern England.

The 327-yard (300 meter) run counted as barely a jog for Coe, who won 1,500-meter gold and 800-meter silver at the 1980 Moscow Games and repeated the feat four years later at Los Angeles.

Coe, 55, said it was an honor to carry the torch and there was "nowhere else I'd rather be."

The Olympic flame arrived in Britain from Greece on May 18. A total of 8,000 people will carry the torch during its 8,000-mile (12,875-kilometer) journey to the opening ceremony in London on July 27.

Have it your way

The McDonald's at the London Olympic Park is supersized - but not, its critics say, super-healthy.

The fast-food giant, a top Olympics sponsor with exclusive rights to sell branded food products inside the venue, said its two-story restaurant at the games will be its biggest and busiest in the world, seating 1,500 diners and serving up to 14,000 people a day.

The only addition to the menu is iced fruit smoothies, which haven't yet been introduced in other British McDonald's.

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