Changing China

Giant on the move

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The invisible Mr Phelps


Phelps dries himself

The envelope, somewhat crumpled in the hands of a female admirer waiting excitedly in the Beijing airport arrivals hall, bore a simple message: “To Michael Phelps, you have to look at.”

Let’s face it, the chances of the American swimming celebrity ever looking at the contents were never going to be good.

But they became non-existent when the 23-year-old phenomenon slipped quietly into Beijing through the side door on Monday afternoon, sidestepping his admirers and the television cameras alike.

Maybe there were security considerations to the six times gold medallist being spirited away, maybe he just wanted to keep his focus as he bids to become the most successful Olympic athlete of all time.

Radcliffe ready to run Beijing marathon


There was good news for Britain on Monday as Paula Radcliffe talked up her chances of being fit enough to run the marathon at the Beijing Games.

“I’m racing unless my leg breaks down,” Radcliffe, 34, told reporters four days before the start of the Olympics and 13 days before the women’s race on August 17.