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IOC urges Beijing not to copy Athens
Updated: 2004-10-29 10:22

A delegation of top IOC officials are in Beijing for a string of meetings with the Beijing Organizing Committee and to take stock of China's preparations.

Addressing a meeting between the IOC delegates and Chinese organizers, Liu Qi, President of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics said:

"We are facing more tasks and challenges in the coming four years. I believe that we can further our cooperation, and lay a solid foundation for a successful Olympic Games in 2008. "

The International Olympic Committee has urged Beijing to ensure the city is ready to host the 2008 Games well in advance.

IOC Executive Director, Gilbert Felli, said Beijing should take care not to complete its venues too late.

"Don't copy Athens. Do your own games, do your Chinese games, do your Beijing games. You have to learn the lessons how the Greeks have done well, where they had difficulties. And you have to take your own responsibility to try to translate that into the Chinese culture."

The construction of Olympic venues in Athens went down to the wire before the games this summer and the Greek city was criticized for not getting enough done early.

As the host of the 2008 Games, Beijing is aiming to have the sports venues completed a year in advance.

However, there has been controversy in recent months over the cost of the venues, and construction of the main stadium was halted for a while earlier this year to reassess the blueprints.

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