Olympic weightlifting champion Dobrev to miss Beijing Games (Olympic Snippets)

June 12th, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sofia, June 12 (Xinhua) Bulgarian weightlifter Milen Dobrev will be unable to defend his title at the Beijing Olympics after failing to recover from a waist injury, the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation said. The 27-year-old Dobrev won gold four years ago in the 94-kg category at the Athens Games.


Volleyball body considers separate draw for quarterfinals

Beijing: With the drawing of lots for the Beijing Olympics volleyball tournament completed here Wednesday, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) is considering another draw to help decide the line up of the quarterfinals.

“We may have another draw at the end of the preliminaries to decide half of the quarterfinal clashes,” said Wei Jizhong, first executive vice-president of the FIVB, at a press conference after Wednesday’s draw.

The official draw was conducted Wednesday afternoon at the Capital Indoor Stadium, the main volleyball venue during the Beijing Games, as twelve qualified teams in each tournament were divided equally into Pools A and B for the preliminaries with a serpentine system based on world ranking used to determine the composition of the pools.

“In the quarterfinals, top finishers from preliminary Pool A will play fourth finishers from Pool B while fourth finishers from Pool A are to clash with top finishers from Pool B,” Wei elaborated to the journalists.

“But another draw may be needed to decide quarterfinals among the second and third finishers from the preliminaries, and this would be different from previous Olympic volleyball tournaments.”


Two kids from earthquake region carry first torch in Lijiang leg

Lijiang (China): Two earthquake-surviving kids ran the first leg of the Olympic torch relay Tuesday in Lijiang, a town renowned for its beautiful scene.

He Zhensheng was born February 3, 1996, when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lijiang. Zhang Zilan, a 13-year-old girl, was adopted by an orphanage in Lijiang after her mother died in the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Sichuan Province last month.

“The experience gives me courage and confidence towards my future. I am getting used to my new home here,” said Zhang, who lost her father some years ago.

The opening ceremony was staged in Lijiang People Square and over 6,000 dancers from 23 ethnic groups dressed up in ethnic costume and put on a folk performance.

The first 138 runners carried the torch within the downtown area before the relay was transferred to the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain 30km away on vehicle for the second leg of relay.


Cheer for every athletes, says China’s table tennis great

Beijing: Chinese table tennis great Deng Yaping called on her compatriots to cheer and applaud for every athlete at the upcoming Beijing Games.

“The Olympic Games is a good opportunity for us to show our hospitality to the world,” said Deng, a four-time Olympic gold medallist.

But Deng, who now works with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG), criticised her compatriots who left an athletics test event at the Bird’s Nest stadium last month immediately after local hero Liu Xiang had won his hurdles race.


Olympic champions to help Chinese athletes

Beijing: Former Olympic champions Deng Yaping and Yang Yang have offered advice to Chinese athletes to help them reduce pressure ahead of the Olympic Games.

“Chinese athletes tend to be more nervous when they play on home soil as they want to perform better in front of their compatriots,” said Deng Yangpeng, a four-gold medallist in table tennis.

“But, according to my own experience, they had better not think about the results,” she added.

Yang Yang, who broke China’s gold draught at the Winter Olympics when she won the women’s 500-metre short-track speed skating final at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, echoed Deng’s viewpoints.

“It’s natural that athletes feel nervous ahead of big events,” said Yang. “What they should do is keep focused on the competition itself and not get distracted from other matters.”

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