Downtown blues  

The Games haven't been a money-booster for Melbourne's downtown club, cafe and bar owners. 

Many put on extra staff in an expectation of greater trade for the March 15-26 event, but say that games organisers have been too successful in discouraging locals from the city centre and the 90,000 interstate and overseas visitors the Victoria state government predicted would attend the games haven't filled the gap. 

“We've never been quieter, even during school holidays,'' downtown restaurant owner Ren Bastone told yesterday's The Age newspaper. 

Local strip bars are also reporting a downturn in trade. It's not all doom and gloom – a gay escort agency has reported a 40% increase in trade. 

Shooting star  

Mick Gault equalled the record for the most number of Games medals won by an England athlete yesterday. 

Gault won silver with Nick Baxter in the 10m air pistol pairs for his 13th medal from four Games since 1994. That equals the mark held by swimmer Karen Pickering, achieved from 1990 to 2002. 

Yesterday's silver was Gault's second of the Games. The 51-year-old won bronze in the 50m air pistol pairs, again with Baxter, on Friday. Gault has the chance extend the record – he is competing in three more events. 


Emma Snowsill's gold medal win in yesterday's triathlon caused her to reflect on a less happy time in her life – the death of her triathlete boyfriend, Luke Harrop, in a training accident four years ago. 

In January, 2002, Harrop, then 24, was killed when knocked off his bike while training on the Gold Coast in Queensland. – AP  

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