Belarus Olympic delegation praises BOCOG for excellent job

BEIJING, Aug 07, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- The Belarus delegation spoke high of the preparation work done by the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) here on Thursday.

BOCOG has done an excellent job which any previous Olympics could not match, said Gernadi Alekseenko, vice president of Belarus' National Olympic Committee, at the flag-raising ceremony in the Olympic Village.

"It is very good that the Olympic facilities will still serve people after the Olympics," he told Xinhua at the scene.

Alekseenko refused to make any predictions about the medals they would win at the Olympics, but he noted they are strong in athletics, weightlifting, shooting and rowing.

He said some athletes had not got used to the weather in Beijing, but it was inevitable.

Belarus sends 181 athletes to compete in 28 events at the Beijing Olympics.

Belarus first participated as an independent nation in the Olympic Games in 1996 and has collected 47 medals ever since.

Rower Ekaterina Karsten won Belarus' first Olympic gold with her victory in the single sculls at the 1996 Atlanta Games. She then retained her title four years later in Sydney, and then won the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games, again in single sculls.

Athletics has proved Belarus' most successful Olympic sport. At the 2000 Sydney Games Yanina Pravalinskaya took gold in the women's shot put while Ellina Zvereva won the women's discus. Four years later in Athens, Yuliya Nesterenko became the first athlete not from the United States to win the women's 100m Olympic title since the 1980 Moscow Games.

The country claimed 15 medals in Athens, including two golds, six silvers and seven bronzes.



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