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Mankini bet traps Olympic shooter

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Pure gold! Mankini bet backfires on Olympian

Olympic gold medal shooter Russell Mark was so confident Carlton would beat St Kilda, he made a silly Olympic opening ceremony pledge.

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Olympian Russell Mark is a straight shooter, and soon-to-be mankini model.

The gold-medal winning athlete, who is likely to represent Australia in shooting at the London Olympics, owned up this morning to an embarrassing bet he made on the outcome of last night's St Kilda versus Carlton showdown at Etihad Stadium.

The 48-year-old was so confident of Carlton's superiority on the footy field that he pledged before the match that he'd parade the lime green one-piece bathing suit for men, made famous by Sacha Baron Cohen's alter ego Borat, to the London Olympics opening ceremony if the Saints somehow romped home. The Blues ended up with the blues, going down 98 to 122 to the Saints.

Russell Mark could play Borat at the London Olympics.

Russell Mark could play Borat at the London Olympics.

We thought the mankini rumour may have been a trap for this trap shooter. But Mark admitted sheepishly today that it was right on the mark.

And he'll take a shot at it.

"Oh, I must've been intoxicated. Carlton promise so much and just deliver so little. It kills me," Mark told 3AW today, laughing.

"I actually did make that statement.

"I still can't believe they (St Kilda) did it. Anyway, a lot of people would think a mankini might look better than the uniform they've nominated for us, so I don't know if it's such a bad thing."

The lime-green mankini would certainly fit in nicely with the traditional Aussie green-and-gold, and would prove aerodynamic for Mark's lap around the Olympic stadium.

But Mark, who won gold at Atlanta in 1996 and silver in Sydney four years later, believes rule 8.5 of the Australian Olympic Constitution may allow him to nominate a proxy.

"My wife's in the team, she'll do it for me," he said, referring to fellow shooter Lauryn Mark.

A little online research, however, has revealed his Lycra outfit may not go down so well in parts of Old Blighty.

Last year, a Borat-style mankini was one of the first items deemed offensive and confiscated from a bather under plans by authorities at the British seaside village of Newquay to eliminate lewd and loutish behaviour.

Mark seems destined to be the the butt of many, many future jokes.

Mike Tancred, a spokesman for the Australian Olympic Committee, said it probably wouldn't be a good look for Mark's fellow Australian athletes if the shooter sported a mankini.

Also, Mr Tancred had contacted Sportscraft - the supplier of the Australian team's opening ceremony uniform - this morning, and unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, they didn't make mankinis.

"Age is the problem here. Russell is no spring chicken, his days of being a model are long gone, and we don’t think it would be a good look for the team to have Russell in a mankini," Mr Tancred said.

"Besides, this will be his sixth Olympics and he is a chance to be named as flag bearer. Imagine the flag bearer out in front of our Team in a mankini. And a big butch shooter at that.

"As we all know the London weather is fickle and we would not want him to catch cold."

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