Union Jack undies, soggy towels and a lucky tape measure...the oddest of rituals for Britain’s Olympic athletes.

Sports stars are probably among the most superstitious people on the planet, many with the own lucky ritual to complete before every big event.

Did you know that Olympic cyclist Laura Trott now has to step on a wet towel before she heads onto the track, after winning the Junior World Championships with one wet sock.

And long distance running champion Mo Farah feels it necessary to shave his head before a race.

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“Every athlete has a pre-race routine to get focused,” says Farah.

“Mine is to shave my head. I like feeling the smoothness of the scalp and splashing cold water on it once I’m done.”

For others, clothing is all-important.

Welsh martial artist Jade Jones, who is representing the UK in Taekwondo, always dons her lucky Union Jack pants when she fights.

She won gold at the London Olympics in 2012, so clearly it must have had some effect.

Middle distance runner Hannah England, the only British woman to have run under two minutes for the 800m, swears by wearing pink socks when she’s racing, and often when she’s training too.

Sheffield’s Jess Ennis-Hill, who is looking to regain her heptathalon title in Rio, likes to use one particular tape measure to make sure she gets the best possible start in her races

She said: “I have a lucky tape measure that I always use for lining up my blocks.”

The list of rituals has been compiled by online poker site 888Poker whose spokesman Pete Campbell says: “A ritual is something that someone repeats often, in exactly the same way, and we see this a lot at the poker tables.

“For example, poker supremo Johnny Chan always brings an orange with him to the poker table - not to eat, just to have, well, reassuringly by his side!”

Let’s hope all the Team GB athletes in Rio have packed their lucky pants.