Climate Protesters Briefly Halt Play On Third Day Of Wimbledon

Two Just Stop Oil protesters released orange ticker-tape mixed with jigsaw puzzle pieces on the court.
A Just Stop Oil protester runs onto Court 18 and releases confetti and a jigsaw puzzle on day three of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on July 5, 2023.
A Just Stop Oil protester runs onto Court 18 and releases confetti and a jigsaw puzzle on day three of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on July 5, 2023.
Alastair Grant via Associated Press

LONDON (Reuters) - Protesters briefly interrupted play on the third day of Wimbledon on Wednesday, releasing orange ticker-tape mixed with jigsaw puzzle pieces on Court 18 during a men’s singles match.

Two protesters from Just Stop Oil ran on to the court holding boxes marked as 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles of Centre Court and sprinkled the contents, halting play between Grigor Dimitrov and Sho Shimabukuro.

One of the protesters covered the court quite liberally while the other one aimed mainly wide of the tramlines.

Security staff quickly removed the individuals, one of whom sat down cross-legged on the turf. Neither resisted.

A Just Stop Oil protester sits on Court 18 on day three of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on July 5, 2023.
A Just Stop Oil protester sits on Court 18 on day three of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on July 5, 2023.
Alastair Grant via Associated Press
A Just Stop Oil protester is removed from Court 18 on day three of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on July 5, 2023.
A Just Stop Oil protester is removed from Court 18 on day three of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, on July 5, 2023.
Alastair Grant via Associated Press

The crowd booed the protesters with some heard shouting “Get Off.” Ground staff then swept the glitter off the court and there appeared to be no damage.

Shortly after the protest, rain returned and the covers were dragged across the court.

Security had been beefed up for the grasscourt Grand Slam, one of the jewels of the British sporting summer, after a spate of protests at high-level events in Britain.

The environmental group disrupted the second Ashes cricket test at Lord’s last week, attempting to spread orange powder on the wicket. They also intervened in this year’s Premiership Rugby final and the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield where they smeared orange powder over a table.

This year’s Grand National horse race was also disrupted after animal rights activists attached themselves to fences.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, additional reporting by Anita Kobylinska, editing by Ed Osmond)

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