Thong-wearing squash player scores on Google

A new feature on the popular search engine lets you check what other people are looking for on the Web

Google has been inundated by users who want to learn more about Vicky Botwright, the UK squash player famous for wanting to wear a thong on court.

The number of search requests for the player -- known as the "Lancashire hot bot" -- soared in the week of 2 July compared to the week before. This put "Vicky Botwright" into the "top ten gaining queries" category as shown on Google's new Zeitgeist page, which gives a statistical breakdown of the requests handled by the search engine.

This interest in Botwright is probably related to the fact that on 26 June the 24-year old won the right to wear a thong during squash matches, after claiming that conventional clothing "can be quite restrictive". She had received some press attention after donning the revealing garment at the Open championships earlier this month.

Other words and phrases which showed a surge in popularity included "wimbledon", which topped the list of gaining queries, and "tour de france". Both of these are major European sporting events which kicked off this month. "Jack lemmon", who died last week, and "audiogalaxy" -- a digital song-swapping site -- also made it onto the "top ten gaining queries" list.

Google Zeitgeist showed that 68 percent of the search requests it handled in May 2001 were in English. German was the second most popular language, at nine percent, with Japanese third with seven percent.

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