Typical Brits. The day after we bag our best medal haul since colonial oppression was dropped as an Olympic sport, it turns out there's a gaping hole in the funding for our elite 2012 athletes.

With sporting mandarins now going cap in hand to the private sector to stump up the extra cash, there could be an opportunity for the UK's leading retailers to snap up some top stars.

Waitrose seems an obvious candidate to support country-gent types in the shooting and horse riding, while Tesco might want relate to those jacks-of-all-trades, the decathletes. Or it could even rebrand temporarily as SebCoe. And rumour has it Sir Stuart Rose is for the high jump, although his fondness for dual roles might make the synchronised swimming more apt.

Meanwhile, cider maker Merrydown is drinking to what it claims is the longest uninterrupted sponsorship deal in the sporting universe after notching up its 50th year backing the Isle of Wight annual yacht race.

"We believe ours is the earliest known and longest-standing corporate sponsorship of a sporting event and we are talking to the Guinness Book of Records," bragged top suit Chris Carr.

Whether Merrydown will be stumping up an extra hundred million or so to add its name to the likes of renowned health brands Coca-Cola and McDonald's as 'global partners' of London 2012 remains to be seen.