Beijing lacks proper training facilities for athletes: Australia

June 17th, 2008 - 3:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 17 (ANI): Athletics Australia has said that smog is not the only reason Australias track and field team are staying away from the Olympic Games opening ceremony, but that Beijing also lacks proper training facilities.

Speaking on 3AW this morning, Athletics Australia spokesman David Culbert said that on the advice of experts, athletes would carry out their preparation outside Beijing in places including Hong Kong and Japan.

He said smog, heat and humidity and the fact theres just no place to run made Beijing a poor choice for athletes’ preparation.

Medals arent handed out for marching, its all about competing in the Games, The Age quoted Culbert, as saying.

Australian track legend Raelene Boyle said preparing for the Olympic Games outside of Beijing and avoiding the opening ceremony was a very sensible move.

Boyle carried the flag at the 1976 opening ceremony and said that had been an honour - but was second to her pursuit of medals.

I believe that the athletes are there to perform on the track as athletes, she said.

She described the opening ceremony as the dress-up of the Olympics. Its not what the Olympics are all about … If that’s the most important thing you’re going for, you’re going for the wrong reasons. (ANI)

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