North Korea's Olympic
representative Um Chang expressed outrage on Thursday at a
diplomatic blunder which resulted in his country's women's
football team leaving the field after the South Korea flag had
been displayed by mistake.
"Of course the people are angry," International Olympic
Committee member Chang told Reuters television
. "If your athlete got a gold medal and put the flag
probably of some other country, what happens?"
The match against Colombia at Glasgow's Hampden Park on the
first day of action at the London Olympics on Wednesday, two
days before the opening ceremony, was delayed by more than an
North and South Korea have been bitter enemies since the
1950-53 war. They have also been drawn against each other in the
first round of the men's table tennis.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called the incident an
honest mistake and said he was sure there would be no repetition
Earlier, in response to a question from Chang on the final
day of the IOC session, president Jacques Rogge said there had
been no political connotation.
"The organising committee has taken corrective action and
there will be no repeat. It was a simple human mistake," he
Greece, who banned triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou on
Wednesday after a racist tweet, suffered further
embarrassment on Thursday when the father of world indoor high
jump champion Dimitris Chondrokoukis said his son had pulled out
of the Games after failing a doping test.
Speaking to reporters at the Olympic Park, Cameron said the
government's priority was to ensure a safe and secure Olympics.
"NOTHING TO CHANCE"
"This is the biggest security operation in our peacetime
history, bar none, and we are leaving nothing to chance,"
Cameron said. "Obviously the biggest concern has always got to
be a safe and secure Games. That matters more than anything
Security has been an over-riding concern for the government
and Games' organisers after four suicide bombers killed 52
commuters in London the day after the British capital was
awarded its third Olympics in 2005.
The penultimate day of the torch relay began on another
sun-drenched day in Camden in North London and was due to finish
at Westminster in the afternoon.
"It's amazing, look, people are hanging out of the windows
to watch. The country has always been enthusiastic, it's just
the newspapers that have been against it," said 61-year-old
sales assistant Ulla Davis.
The IOC elected Britain's Craig Reedie and Moroccan Nawal El
Moutawekel, the 1984 Olympic women's 400 metres hurdles gold
medallist, to its two vacant vice-president's positions.
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