Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Olympics-2008: New Zealand athletes will not be at Beijing opening ceremony

Bangkok Post: Wellington (dpa) - New Zealand's team of eight track and field athletes will not attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, it was announced on Wednesday.

Athletics New Zealand official Kevin Ankrom said the squad and a number of officials would stay in a transition camp in Hong Kong to acclimatize before going to Beijing a few days after the opening.

The announcement came after reports that Athletics Australia had ordered its entire team to stay away from Beijing for as long as possible because of concerns about air quality.

Ankrom told Radio New Zealand that life in an Olympic village was very confined and like being in a jail but logistics was the main reason for the team staying away until after the ceremony.

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