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Cherie's our No.1 Olympic cheerleader.

Byline: LYNNE McPHERSON

CHERIE BLAIR got carried away with excitement yesterday watching a Scots rower's Olympic medal bid... or she might have been yawning.

The Prime Minister's wife joined her husband to watch Katherine Grainger's quest for medal glory.

A casual Mr Blair beamed from the sidelines wearing a team GB polo shirt.

The couple are on a two-day trip to Athens and earlier visited the Olympic village where the Prime Minister jumped in a special Team GB car.

But he faced criticism after signing the Olympic Truce because of the UK's involvement in ongoing fighting in Iraq.

The document calls for a halt in worldwide conflict during the 16 days of competition.

The Blairs are in Athens before continuing their family holiday in Italy as guests of Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi. Yesterday, it was claimed Tony and Cherie, who have just come back from Barbados after staying at Cliff Richard's villa for the second summer running, now want their own paradise pad.

According to sources on the island the Blairs viewed several properties in the exclusive Sugar Hill area, where properties can cost up to pounds 1.6million last week.

An islander said: 'Word here is that, during their recent stay at Cliff's place on Sugar Hill, the Blairs decided they wanted to buy their own property.' Meanwhile, rower Katherine - hoping to go one better than the silver medal she won in Sydney - and fellow Brit Cath Bishop took second place in the women's coxless pairs but needed to win to automatically qualify for the final.

They now have to win a 'second chance' race tomorrow to advance to the next round.

#Elsewhere in Athens the father of a British cyclist was quizzed by the police after following a tradition in the sport and painting his daughter's name on a street where she is due to race.

Anthony Cooke of Swansea - who coaches gold medal hope Nicole - was later released and police were last night playing down the incident.

CAPTION(S):

Gripped: Tony and Cherie roar on Brits; Rower: Kath
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 15, 2004
Words:341
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