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Lateline Business -

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(generated from captions) tomorrow's weather - fine and

mild across most of the country

apart from the north and

north-west where temperatures

will be well above average. 'Lateline Business' coming up

in a moment. If you would like

to look back at tonight's

discussion or review 'Lateline'

stories or transcripts you can

visit our web site. Here's

'Lateline Business' with Greg

Hoy. Thanks, Tony. Tonight -

Origin Energy fenls off a

takeover by announcing a $9.6

billion joint venture with the

third largest oil company in

the US. I think it's a

sensational deal. These are

gargantuan number that is

ConocoPhillips is stumping

up. While not ruling out

Reserve Bank chief Glenn another interest rate cut

Stevens says the reserve Will

act with patience and restraint

in controlling inflation. The

US Government bails out

mortgage giants Fannie Mae and

Freddie Mac. Their contingent

liability of Fannie and Freddie

has been estimate the at $250

billion US to American

taxpayers. First to the markets

- Australian shares surged as

investors cheered the US

Government's decision to seize

control of the troubled

mortgage groups Fannie Mae and

Freddie Mac. Gains in banking

stocks saw the all ords jump

177 points. The ASX 200 leapt

4%, its biggest 1 day game in 6

months. A similar story in

Japan where the NIKKEI rose

over 3%. Despite a fall in

China's main market, Hong

Kong's Hang Seng jumped over

4%, and the rally has spread to

Europe, in London the FT 100

index has risen 200 points.

Staying in London - there are

reds faces in Europe's biggest

boars after a burt crash halted

trading on the L scsmt E. -

LSE. Trading was subs pended

for 15 minutes after the

opening bell. The LSE has

blamed the delay, the longest

in # years on a connectivity

issue - 8 years. It plans to

bring back trading in a

controlled way but couldn't say

how long that will be. Brokers

are reported to be fuming as in

the midst of a day of frenzied

trading they're unable to earn

commissions for trades. The

problem has spread to

Johannesburg, which

unfortunately uses the same

trading system. Origin Energy

has announced a joint venture

with American company

ConocoPhillips. The third

biggest LNG refiner in America

will pay nearly $10 billion for

a 50% stake in Origin's coal

seam gas assets. The deal blows

BG's $13 billion takeover offer

out of the water. Investors

sent Origin stocks soaring to a

record high of 19.99, shares

pulled back by the close to

settle at 17en 65. 17.65. Up

13%. Gring's 3-month search for

a partner to develop Origin

Energy's coal seam gas assets

has paid off. I think it's a

sensational deal, these are

gargantuan numbers that

ConocoPhillips is stumping up,

and I think that the Origin

board has demonstrated the

value in the stock that they

needed to do when they rejected

British Gas's takeover

offer. American energy giant

ConocoPhillips will pay $9.6

billion for a 50/50 joint

venture with Origin to build

and operate four LNG plants in

northern Queensland. We have

got as our partner a leading

developer and operator of LNG

plants round the world. It is a

leading developer and operator

of coal seam gas in the United

States. And ConocoPhillips is

not just taking Origin's word

on how good its coal seam

gas-ets are. The report I got

back from our technical people

is that they were giddy about

the resource. So we're really

excited. It's a unique

opportunities for

ConocoPhillips, 42 TCF of

natural gas and a location like

Australia, where we can have

access to Asia Pacific LNG

markets is just a really rare

opportunity. The first LNG

operation is scheduled for 2014

and will produce around 3.5

million metric tonnes of LNG

each year. Origin will run the

domestic gas sales and pipeline

portion of the venture, and ConocoPhillips will lead the

plant production and

international markets of

LNG. It's a company which has patented technology which has

been use end a number of LNG

plants round the world. And

finally and very importantly

ConocoPhillips has local

experience, it has built the

Darwin LNG plant on budget and

on time. Origin's 3 P, or

possible reserves, has outpaced

the $1.65 per gig ajowl

benchmark set by Santos's deal

with Petronas back in

May. There is a danger you

could read too much in into that actual number itself

because Origin has very large

contingent resources as well

and they are giving away a

larger slice of the pie, 50%

versus 30% in the case of

Santos and Petronas for the

reserves. But nevertheless,

there is no denying this is a

sensational price. An

independent expert's valuation

was further vindication of the

board's decision to reject BG's

offer of $15.37 per share. The

report valued the non-coal seam

gas proportion of Origin's

business between $9.85 and

$11.22 a share. And the coal

seam gas assets between $18.70

and $19.49. Which would value

Origin's shares above $28 each.

The directors unanimously

maintain and reiterate their

advice to shareholders that

they should reject BG's

inadequate takeover offer of

$15.37 a share. Origin

management says the deal will

boost earnings per share by 35%

and announced a $1.5 billion

capital return for

shareholders. Today's deal will

need approval from the foreign

investment review board and is

still bound by the conditions

of BG's offer. Earlier I spoke

to the mengter of Origin

energy, Grant King about

securing the deal with

ConocoPhillips. Thanks for

joining us. Thank you. How

would you describe the mood at

Origin Energy in clinching this

deal with ConocoPhillips today?

We're very pleased. The primary reason we're very

pleased is we've believed in

the qualities of our coal seam

gas assets and we've believed

in the value that those assets

can drait create for our

shareholders. What's pleasing

is someone else has seen that

value and that's what is

reflected in the proposal that

came to us from

ConocoPhillips. Was there any

sense of relief given how close

you'd come to accepting BG's

offer 3 months oog? We got over

that 3 months ago. When you say

"Relief", we believe strongly

in the value of our assets. We

rejectsed the proposal 3 months

ago because we felt that belief

warranted us making that

rejection. So it's been nice to

have that belief confirmed

again by the bid from

ConocoPhillips. Yes pleased,

yes, very satisfied, I think

that's probably the best

answer. Do you feel indebted in

any way to Santos for

demonstrating the potential

value of your CSG assets in

their deal with Petronas? That

was fortunate timing. It

highlights an issue whilst we

were confident in our view

about the potential value of

our assets it was really at

that time our ability to art he

ic late that. The market likes

to see verification or

validation of those views so

that Santos Petronas action was

timely and if you like the ver

fik aig, the third party

benchmark that gave us the

confidence to say no, we know

our assets are worth more,

we'll prove that. This late SES

a long-term deal. Does it

effectively marry you to

ConocoPhillips in any further

CSG Assets you consider? Yes,

we've put all our CSG Assets

into the company, Origin

company and ConocoPhillips are

acquiring shares in that

company. All the si sets have -

all the assets have gone in.

It's our intention we'd go

forward together. We see the

resources and the reserves we

have will supply 2, 2, 3, 4

train LNG project for 35 years.

Right now that's a long enough

timeframe from our point of

view. And no possibility then

you'll Discover years hence

this price announced today was

again too cheap? Look, that may

be possible. I think therefore

having sold 50% and kept 50%

that's about the best way to

hedge your bets. We're still

fully exposed to that upside to

the extejts of 50% of our

interests - extents. we're able

to return to shareholders

certainly substantial amount,

1.5 billion will be returned to

shareholders immediately. The

balance is available to look at

other opportunity and reinvest

and grow our business. This

will be the first for this

technology, converting CSG to

LNG, no risk in that

technically? I think that's an

important question, because

ConocoPhillips in particular

pioneered the technology they

call cascade technology for

turning what's called lean gas

or basically pure methane into

LNG. The first plant they built

to do that was built in fact in

1969, that gives them now well

over 30 years experience. Our

coal seam gas is basically pure

methane. It's exactly the same.

Certainly we haven't seen and

certainly with ConocoPhillips

on board particularly with

their cascade technology we

don't see any issues in that

regard at all. Who else made

offers toe help develop your

CSG reserves? As you might

recall we ran what's turned out to be a very competitive

process. We received a number

of bids. All those bids were

competitive. At the end of the

of the day the superior

proposal was that put by

Conoco. We did receive a number

of strong bids. Did the other

offers come close? We haven't

commented on how close or how

far but they were all very competitive. You said this deal

sets up 10 years of growth for

the company. What sort of

growth do you have in

mind? Since Origin listed we've

talked about growing our

company on average 10, 15% a

year. We've average the 7% over

the last 8 or # years, we think

we'll still continue to target

growth of at least, 10, 15% a

year. Some comments have been

made you'll have to wait a long

time to get returns out of the

LNG business. That's true,

we'll have to wait 6 years to

get to first productionment but

in between we have a lot of

other projects, oil and gas

project in New Zealand,

investments in renewables, wind

farm for example, all of which will contribute to Goat through

that period. That decade of

growth is reflecting its not

just now waiting for 6 years

for LNG, between now and then

we've got a lot of - happening

in our country. one of the transforming aspects of this

transaction with ConocoPhillips

is the consideration upfront

substantially deleverages the

fact we'll have a substantial

cash balance, positive cash

balance, in our balance sheets,

so we'll be able to pursue

those opportunities

strongly. Any potential

acquisitions spring to

mind? The only one we've

referred to publicly, it's been

an unfolding saga as has been

the potential privatisation of

the retail businesses here in

New South Wales,, it's

currently unclear clearly as to

what will happen to that

process going forward. We'd

like to watch and see what

Government's intentions are leer for example in New South

Wales. That's a very clear and

easy example, we've talked about our interest in that

process before. Finally, have

you been in touch with the BG

Group? No, I haven't had an

opportunity today to contact

them directly. Do you intend to

contact them? Probably not in

the short-term. Understood.

Thanks for joining us. Thanks

for your time. Any joy from

last week's interest rate cut

may be short lived, with the

Reserve Bank signalling a

cautious approach to monetary

policy. Economists remain

confident of another rate cut

this year. They now expect the

RBA's ease yg cycle won't be as

rapid or as deep as previously

episodes. For much of his

tenture Glenn Stevens has been

bearing grim tides ings, last

week's interest rate cut

confirm add distinct change in

tone. I can't come here and

precommit or make a forecast

about what the board's gonna do

at forthcoming meetings. The

financial markets have price

end some further reduction s in

the cash rate over time. I

don't have any particular

agenda today to either dissuade

them from that or encourage

them any further. Many

economists say those remarks

leave the door ajar for another

interest rate cut in October.

That could hinge on a batch of

data to be released this week

including unemployment and

retail sales. Glenn Stevens

today repeated warnings that

inflation is likely to peak at

5% in the September and

December quarters. And it may

not return to the RBA's target

band of 2-3%, until

2010. Because it's gonna take a

long period of time we're

probably in for a fairly long

period of growth that will

remain below trend and interest

rates that will be at a

restrictive level. Two key

messages - first that we could

key a a further interest rate

reduction before the end of

this year, but second that

these rate cuts aren't going to

be significant. Glenn Stevens

told the House of

Representatives economics

committee that wholesale

fumeding costs have been easing

in recent months. The RBA

governor hosed down any

thoughts that banks might cut

interest rates independently of

any official changes. My

comment that recent tighten ing

was not necessary has in mine

the 12 or 15 points rise in

mortgage rates that occurred in

July. It isn't meant to imply

that all of the other rises

have to be reversed per se.

Glenn Stevens says there is

little chance of a recession in

Australia given last week's

solid growth numbers for

non-farm industries. We've

slowed to an annualised pace of

about 2% by the look of it in

the June quarter. Our feeling

is still that the low point of

growth will be lower than that,

but I don't think those data

Will would lead us to revise

down any forecasts. He did

indicate the down side risks to

growth now are really quite sig

and that if he was to keep

interest rates at current

levels for longer then the risk

of a more severe downturn in the economy would be

increasing. And that could mean

a rise in the unemployment rate

from 3-decade lows. I think in

many respects we could see

what's going on at the moment

as rather akin to the mid cycle

pause in 2001. In that episode

the rate of unemployment rose

by a percentage point or so

over a year to 18 months. Of

course we have record skill

shortages across a lot of

industries and employment in

some of the more labour

intensive industries such as

non residential construction engineering, that's going quite

well. We think that while we

are in train for some rise in

the unemployment rate over the

next 6-12 months might not be

as large as the RBA is

currently forecasting. But

uncertainty is the order of the

day, and it seems the Reserve

Bank is very much taken its

deliberations 1 month at a

time. The US treasury has

announced the troubled mortgage

giants Fannie Mae and Freddie

Mac will be placed in

conservatorship. In an attempt

to stabilise their losses a

move that's likely to cost US

taxpayers $25 billion or more.

Simultaneously a paper was

released in Sydney by the

Centre for Independent Studies,

condemning a push to establish

a similar government-supported

mortgage lender in Australia

called Aussie Mac. The idea has

been seriously promoted this

year by Melbourne business

school's Professor Joshua Gans

and Christopher Joy and has

received considerable support.

I spoke to the leading opponent

of Aussie Mac, the Centre for

Independent Studies' Stephen

Kirchner this evening. thanks

for joining us. Thank you. What

does the US Government's move

to seize control of Fannie Mae

and Freddie Mac say about the

very serious proposal posal to

establish a local version

called Aussie Mack in

Australia. I think it shows the

dangers of Government

guarantees in prom poting

excess ive risk taking on the

part of financial institutions,

whether they be in private or

public ownership. Today, of

course the ideas 'authors

suggested the big difference in

the model they proposed was

that Aussie Mac should be

government owned rather than

Government guaranteed as was

the case wi Fannie Mae and

Freddie Mac. Is that a big

enough difference for you? I

don't think the issue of public

versus private ownership is

really the issue. I think it's

more the existence of a

government guarantee regardless

of whether it's privately or

publicly owned. In their

original Aussie Mac paper they

origin ally suggested setting

it up as a Government

institution then privateising

it. Hasn't it been those

Government guaranteed that

encourage the US GCEs or

government supported enprices,

to take the sizeable risks that

they did? Yeah, that's right.

It basically enable ed them to

operate from a very narrow

capital base and to take excessive risks they would not

have been able to take if they

didn't have that implied

Government guarantee. A

guarantee that's now been made

explicit. By full government

ownership, wouldn't that then

re-duce the risk of that happening? I think that's

probably the solution for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that

they do need to be

nationalised, broken up and

sold off in order to get rid of

them. So in a way public

ownership is probably the

solution here. Is that what you

would expect will now happen?

In the US I think this will

probably be the long-term

solution. US policy makers want

to get rid of these

institutions, it's really up to

coon gress to bite the bullet

and change their mandates. It

was heaped Aussie Mac would

restore liquidity into the

market and restore competition

and improve housing

affordability. Noble ideals,

why wouldn't they work? We've

now got experience with that in

both the United States and Canada, and the experience in

both countries was that the

fundsing advantage that they

enjoy end capital markets was

not passed only to consumers in

the form of lower interest

rates. It was captured by the

mortgage securitisation industry. So there is no

benefit to consumer s here,

they're not passing on it's fundsing advantage they have in

capital markets. Your opponents

of course were equally yit

critical of your paper today,

and suggested Aussie Mac would

be capped at si 5-10% of the

liquidity market to... The

ballooning risk, would that

work? I think the cap in Canada

is one of the reasons why

mortgage interest rates in

Canada have gone up by as much

as they have here. It seems

strange to argue that an

institution is a good thing but

needs to be limited in some

sense. The statementsish ubed

today in the United States

suggested that the US taxpayer

was likely to be limited in

exposure to a round $25

billion. Do you accept that

argument? I think that was

Congressional budget office

estimate that dates back to

July. I mean, we really don't

know what the final cost to US

taxpayers will be. The

contingent liability of Fannie

and Freddie has been estimated

at about $250 billion US, that

would be an absolute worst case

scenario to US taxpayers. I

suspect the ultimate cost will

be somewhat less than that. A

lot more pain to come? I think

the US will continue to revisit

this issue and it will probably

be um to the - up to the new

administration that takes

office at the beginning of next

year to finally resolve the

issue. Thanks for joining

'Lateline Business'. Thank you.

For more on today's market

surge I spoke earlier with

George Kanaan of UBS. Thanks

for joining us. The US

Government has moved

preimtively to bail out the big

mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and

Freddie Mac, how has the local

market responded? Very positive

reaction from the market today,

up almost 4%. The Biggsest 1

day gain we've seen, almost a

mid March when funny enough

another stock got bailed out,

bear Stearns, a very positive

and the market was very

positive announcement and it's

gonna get a - give a lot of

comforts to investors around

the world. Trading volumes are

up strongly. What's behinds the

activity levels there? The

first thing is the certainty

that the announcement over the

weekend brings to markets. The

second thing is we saw a lot of

hedge fund activity today as I

think hedge funds start to

liquidate positions that

they've had primarily with

short financials buy, so we saw

a lot of unwanted day's trades,

that's why some of those stocks

did quite well today zsmt what

sectors and stocks have excited

investor in light of the Fannie

Mae and Freddie Mac

developments? I mean, the

clearly biggest contributors to

our market today were the

banks. They were up between 6

and 10%. Very strong day for

those stocks. Investment banks

did well with Macquarie,

Babcock and Brown. They're

stocks that did most - best out

of this market. The other

sector which has done well is

the US exposed housing stocks

like Boral and James Hardie,

the market with the Fed

stepping in and back-stop ing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac it

gives a lot of comfort to US

housing and US home lending

that's why those stocks did

quite well. Elsewhere,

companies with interests in

coal seam methane are all up

sharply. Is that all due to the

Origin Energy-knock knk rr

deal? Absolutely. Origin

Energy-ConocoPhillips. The

announcement today, bringing

value to the CSM assets, you

saw a lot of stocks and -

within this sector do well

including QGC, Arow Energy and

even Santos. You've had Conoco

come and look at Origin and do

a deal. British Gas has Rex es

ed were interest in Origin,

Petronas has done a deal with

Santos. There is a lot of

interest in these assets all

around the world. Thanks for

your time this evening. Thank

you. To the other major movers

on our market today - news of

Origin's deal with

ConocoPhillips also boosted

smaller coal seam gas stocks,

Queensland ghast surged -

Queensland Gas surged 31%.

Finance stocks were also become

in favour.

AWB announced the

resignation of four directors

who opposed the dismanteling of

its shareholder structure. On

currency markets - the Australian dollar has lost most

of the earlier momentum

provided by the bail-out of

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Hurricane Ike moves through

the gulf of Mexico, crude oil

is higher. Westpac's $18

billion takeover bid for St

George Bank has cleared another

key hurdle - the St George

board today backed the deal

after Westpac agreed to pay a

special dividend of up to $1.25

a share. The sweetened offer

which independent - excuse me -

expert Grant Samuel said was

fair and reasonable would

create Australia's biggest

bank. St George investors will

vote on the plan in November.

competition regulator, the ACCC

gave it the green light last

month. St George shares closed

4.5% higher while Westpac

gained 5.25%. Now a look at

tomorrow's full business diary.

The Australian Bureau of

Statistics releases July retail

sales figures. Along with the

latest housing, finance statistics. The National

Australia Bank publishes its

monthly survey of business

confidence and conditions. KPMG

tables its survey and analysis

of Australian general insurers.

Overseas - Germany's current

account report is due out.

That's all for our program

tonight as I leave you trading

in London is still suspended.

With the LSE still battling to

reconnect its customers 6.5

hours into its trading day. If

you wants to review any parts

of tonight's program you can

visit our web site at 'Lateline Business'

and watch the program online or

download it as a vodcast. To

send us your feed beak our

email address is - I'm Greg

Hoy. Goodnight. shall

Closed Captions by CSI


Good evening and welcome to

our second highlights program

of action from day 2 at the

Beijing Paralympic Games, we

start with night two start with night two of

swimming from the Water Cube

with Australians features in 7

finals. At the Water Cube your

commentator is Gerry Collins.

Out come the swimmers for the

first event. The first final tonight, the men's tonight, the men's 100m

butterfly S 10. Two

Australians competing in this.

Pend - Rick Pendleton in lane

1 and Daniel Bell in lane 7.

Pendleton seemed to get away

well. Bell started very well.

He is in lane 7, second from

the farthest side. Canada is

in lane 5 and it looks as

though it is braz - Brazil in

lane 4. Going well is Spain as

well. And through goes Brazil

in 26:23 and Hou was just

behind him. Levic behind him

and P, next de - Pendelton and

bevel. The race is - Bell.

The race is on well and truly.

Brazil a good win, he is out

nearly a body length clear with

Lavec in second place and it Lavec in second place and it is

very close for third. Could be

anyone's for third. The victory

to Brazil. That is a new world

record Andre Brazil and the

Brazilians in the crowd are ecstatic about that. ecstatic about that. He

realise it is. He has a wrfrld - world record and fast one.

The first time you have gone

sub 60. How did you find the

race? Really good. Just come

off the heats this morning, to

prepare and going out there was

a challenge and it was a good

night. Good swim. This is

your third Paralympic, how have

you been finding the experience

in Beijing? It has been a different experience to the

other Paralympics but other Paralympics but it has

been good and I am hoping to

enjoy the rest of it. And Rick

over to you. What was it like

for you out there. A fantastic

effort. You shaved quite a few

seconds off from your PB since

this morning. Shaved about 5

seconds off today which is

unbelievable. Massive to go

under 60 for the first time. I

wasn't spebed to make the -

expected to make the final. So

obviously making it and

swimming even better. Out of

my skin at the moment. my skin at the moment. Ready

now for the final, the 400

freestyle. S 13. Prue Watt and Teigan van Roosmalen

representing Australia.

Off, both the Australians

seemed to get away pretty well.

Prue Watt in lane 2 and Teigan

van Roosmalen over in lane 8.

Looking for Tegan, she is still on the block. Teigan van

Roosmalen did not know - she is

looking totally lost. She has

been left on the block. Oh,

this is horrible to see and

Teigan van Roosmalen is not in

the picture at the moment, has

just walked off the block and

just did not start. And she is

in tears. So a sensation for

Australia but as they have gone

through the 50m mark there

going through in 31:01 Henry

and they have called it a dead

- they have called a false

start now. Oh, dear. And

there we have Teigan van

Roosmalen, so she might still

get her swim. Drama. Absolute

drama.At the start of this

women's 400m freestyle. Off.

Pretty even start. Teigan van

Roosmalen got away this time

OK. Indeed she got away well.

Prue Watt also had a good start

in lane 2 and in the middle of

the field Bechero, Grandmason

is there. In lane 4, possibly

in front after 30 m or so but

Henry of Great Britain is also

swimming powerfully. Gran

Masen will lead them through

the 50m term. Her time is

31:07. Bechera, then Henry,

Teigan van Roosmalen, and Prue

Watt was just a little bit quicker than Teigan van

Roosmalen. So, 75m gone, and

here this fabulous Canadian

swimmer, Gr an Mase next -

Mase next is already in front.

They come into the wall after

100m and gran Masen, and she is

already a couple of seconds

clear of the rest of the field.

1:06.21 from Bechera. And

Teigan van Roosmalen 1:09 plus.

Silver and bronze could be

anybodies, but there is not too

much doubt about who is going

to win the gold medal. She is

already heading for home while

the others have yet to get to

the final turn. 15m clear is

Gran Mason of Canada. This has

been one of the most impressive performance at the Beijing

Paralympics. Here we go.

Looking to see if she can get a

world record as well. This is

a huge time. A magnificent

result. A wonderful gold medal

for Gran Mason and she touches

the wall now, she has done it

in a huge way. Great battle

for the silver. It could go to

either of three swimmers and

Gran Masen a swim in 4:28.64.

We have a dead heat actually,

but Efermanco has taken the

silver and it is a dead heat

for the bronze between Buchera

and Gotel. That will come

officially. But that shows how

close it was. Prue Watt has

finished in a time of 4:46.21

and Teigan van Roosmalen

5:02.17. Can you tell me what

happened in the start? The

light didn't go off and I

looked up and they were all

gone. So I was like freaking

out. And I started crying.

Because I thought we stopped.

So the same crowd started

telling them to stop. Try to

stop the Games racing. And

apparently they did and they

did a test and apparently the

light is broken. So that's why

we had to wait until we start

again to make sure the light is

working. And how did that

affect you when you finally

were able to get going? I

thought it was going to happen

again. So I was just like

freaking out. And I wrecked my

performance because I was like

still upset when I was racing.

And I just couldn't make

achievements, so I was like

still upset.

Out they come. Alex Hadley representing Australia is

swimming in lane number one.

He swum a 1:08.67 and has a PB

considerably faster than that.

So if he is able to get

somewhere near his own personal

best and maybe improve on it.

Off they go. Alex Hadley

managed to get away OK.

Starting very well in lane 3

was Walker. Rob erpt - Roberts

was away reasonably. After 25

m Roberts has possibly gone to

the lead. Lambak is there,

Matt Walker is there as well

and so also is Tian as they

come up towards the 50m turn

and Roberts leads them

through, going through next was

Lamba, Walker, and then Tian.

Hadley is back in about 7th

spot. About 25m now to go for

the world record holder David

Roberts to claim the gold

medal. He has got it pretty

well won from there. Out about