Olympics: Beijing Games briefs

Private domain

Athletes swim at the start of the10km men's swimming marathon event at the Beijing 2008 Olympics on August 21, 2008.

China's gold medallists at the Beijing Games will have the exclusive rights to register their own names as internet domain names, national sports and internet officials said. The move is aimed at preventing the commercial exploitation of the champions' names, but protecting them is a difficult task in China, where thousands of people share the same name. Diving diva Guo Jingjing, for example, reportedly shares the same name as 9,000 people. (AFP)

Backing Brazil

Brazilian football legend Pele took the opportunity of a visit to the Beijing Games to plug Rio de Janeiro's bid for the 2016 Olympics. The South American sports icon said it was high time the continent hosted the Games, and said he regretted never competing in them himself since he turned professional at a young age and pros were banned in his heyday. Rio is still in the running with Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid for the right to host the Games, with the International Olympic Committee due to elect the 2016 host in October of 2009. (AFP)

Shoe-fire winner

China's badminton gold medallist Lin Dan has sparked a fan frenzy on the internet with his impulsive toss of his sweaty shoes into the crowd after his championship match. A trawl of Chinese search engine Baidu reveals one poster offering 500,000 yuan (72,832 US dollars) for the shoe - enough to buy an apartment in many Chinese cities. Would-be buyers should beware, however. More than 100 people claim to have caught one of the shoes. (AFP)

Mind Games

The Nigerian Chess Federation will participate in the inaugural World Mind Sports Games in Olympic host city Beijing in October, joining more than 100 countries and regions competing for medals in games requiring more brains than brawn. Chess, bridge, draughts, Go and Xiang Qi are the featured events in the competition organized by the International Mind Sports Association. (AFP)

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