January 21, 2017

An ant man and a super gran

Long Qingquan (CHN) of China (PRC) celebrates winning the gold medal. Photo: Reuters

Brief stories from the Rio Olympics on Monday:

Ant man
After Chinese weightlifter Long Qingquan broke an Olympic record of 170 kg-raising more than three times his own bodyweight above his head-to clinch gold in the men’s 56kg he was asked by a reporter if he considered himself to be the strongest man alive. The 4ft 11ins athlete thought about this for a minute and then channelled his inner Confucius, replying philosophically: “For human beings yes I believe so, but in the animal kingdom I don’t think so because as you know ants can lift much heavier weights than their own weight.”

Adam Peaty (GBR) of United Kingdom reacts after setting a new world record. Photo: Reuters
Adam Peaty (GBR) of United Kingdom reacts after setting a new world record. Photo: Reuters

#OlympicNan
Adam Peaty’s grandmother has become an unlikely hit on Twitter and even earned her own hashtag, #OlympicNan, after devotedly following the British swimmer’s progress from afar. Mavis Williams, aka @Mavise42Mavis, who describes herself as “Proud Nan to a World Champion Breaststroker”, wrote after Peaty’s win: “Well you have done it @adam_peaty you have made it, your hard work paid off. Congratulations to you and @massivemel. So proud love Nan x.” It earned 1,080 retweets and 3,520 likes, with one user commenting: “Well done @adam_peaty reading your nans tweets brings tears to my eyes.”

Samir Ait Said (FRA) of France competes on the vault. Said broke his leg following a crash landing in this routine. Photo: Reuters
France competes on the vault, broke his leg following a crash landing in this routine. Photo: Reuters

Them’s the breaks
Gymnast Samir Ait Said’s leg break caused gasps around the world when he landed awkwardly from a vault and snapped his left leg so badly it skewed visibly to the left. And things didn’t get much better for the Frenchman en route to the hospital. As he was being loaded into the ambulance, bungling paramedics dropped the bottom end of Said’s stretcher, causing it to bang on the ground. The pain he felt can only be imagined, but it is summed up by video images which show a female onlooker clasping her hands to her face in shock.

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