South Korean gymnast 'awed' by selfie fame

South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-Ju, who found herself in the international spotlight after taking a selfie with a North Korean competitor in Rio, said Friday she was surprised by the extraordinary response to such a simple act. A snapshot of Lee and North Korea's Hong Un-Jong posing for the selfie on Lee's phone swiftly went viral on Twitter, with many hailing the image as a perfect illustration of the Olympic spirit. The photo has been tweeted and shared hundreds of thousands of times, with the likes of IOC president Thomas Bach describing it as a "great gesture." In a radio interview with South Korean broadcaster KBS on Friday, the 17-year-old said the decision to grab a selfie with Hong had been totally spontaneous. "I saw her and asked to take a picture together as a souvenir," Lee said.–AFP



Organisers say Indians most rude and aggressive

India's sports minister drew widespread criticism Friday after the organisers of the Rio Olympics reportedly accused his entourage of "aggressive and rude" behaviour at the Games and threatened to cancel his accreditation. The Rio organising committee said it had received multiple reports of Vijay Goel trying to get unaccredited people accompanying him into Olympic venues. "We have had multiple reports of your minister for sports trying to enter accredited areas at venues with unaccredited individuals," the Press Trust of India news agency quoted committee manager Sarah Peterson as saying in a letter to India's chef de mission Rakesh Gupta.–AFP


Training with buzzers could boost times

Swimmers who train with buzzers rather than their coach's voice could shave milliseconds off their times, a critical difference at the elite level, an Australian researcher has found. While swimmers at competitions dive off platforms at the sound of a starting buzzer, many still train using their coach's voice, University of Sydney researcher Chris Papic said. But in a trial involving top Australian swimmers, Papic found that when drilled with starting buzzers, swimmers could cut an average of 0.012 seconds off their times -- which at elite level could be enough to mean the difference between a gold or silver medal.–AFP


US closing in on milestone

1,000th gold medal

Triple jumper James Connolly won the United States' first gold medal at the 1896 Summer Games and it is expected that on Sunday or Monday a still unknown American will claim a milestone 1,000th gold to bookend 120 years of Olympic domination. To underscore the United States' status as the Olympics undisputed superpower, at the current rate of winning medals it will take almost a century and 21 more Summer Games for the next nation to reach the 1,000 gold plateau, with China finally hitting the mark in 2100. The 1,000 medals would also represent almost one-quarter of the total gold awarded at the Summer Olympics with no other country even reaching half that number. The US arrived in Rio sitting on 977 gold and, according to, the former Soviet Union with 473 ranks second with Germany a distant third with 288.–Reuters