Olympics-Briefs from around the London Games

LONDON, July 24 Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:24pm BST

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LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - Briefs from around the London Olympics on Tuesday:

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Britain's Heather Watson has been given a late place in the women's singles tennis tournament at Wimbledon after the withdrawal of Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko through injury.

Bondarenko's injury means she and her sister Kateryna have withdrawn from the doubles.

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Australia's Olympic athletes will be walking with the greats in several senses at Friday's opening ceremony after showing off shoes and special green jackets bearing the names of all the country's gold medallists since 1896.

The formal jackets have the names on the lining as do the shoes. "So you are walking in the footsteps of some of the greats," said Australian chef de Mission Nick Green.

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Former England soccer captain David Beckham, who has not been selected for Team GB but has been promised a role at the Games, delighted fans with a surprise appearance in a shopping mall near the Olympic Park.

Sponsor adidas asked 60 unsuspecting members of the public to show support for Britain's team by having their picture taken inside a photobooth - with Beckham then joining them after stepping out from a hidden section.

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Gymnast Louis Smith, the first Briton to win an individual Olympic gymnastics medal since 1908 after taking pommel horse bronze in Beijing, has said goodbye to his 12,000 Twitter followers before entering the athletes village.

"Last night I said goodbye to my followers on Twitter," he told a news conference. "My phone's gone a bit quiet. I want to keep the eye on the prize."

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If some of Britain's iconic red postboxes turn gold during the Olympics, it means the host nation is doing well in the medals table.

Royal Mail says it will celebrate every British gold medal by re-painting a postbox in the winner's home town. It will be the first occasion in modern times that the boxes, painted standard red since 1874, have changed colour. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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