• London Olympics 2012

Team GB stars ordered to learn national anthem

ESPN staff
June 6, 2012
Tiffany Porter refused to sing the words to the National Anthem when asked earlier this year © Getty Images

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee has told Great Britain's leading athletes at London 2012 to ensure they have learned the words to the national anthem.

An anthem row erupted at the World Indoor Championship earlier this year when Team GB captain Tiffany Porter insisted she knew the words but spurned the chance to sing them when asked.

American-born hurdler Porter, who changed allegiance to Britain two years ago, was called a 'Plastic Brit' and Van Commenee was criticised for selecting her as skipper.

To avoid a similar incident at this summer's Games, Van Commenee has laid down the law to the British hopefuls.

"They will know the words," Van Commenee said. "The reason I'm so sure is because I asked them. I'm not going to rehearse everybody because we have 90 athletes but people that matter, let's say the relevant ones, the ones on the radar, will know.

"It matters because if they don't [know the words], somebody will make an issue of it. That's why."

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