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Athens 2004 Shot Put Event To Be Held At Olympia

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The world governing body of athletics (IAAF) meeting Saturday in Berlin, has approved a proposal received from the organizers of Athens 2004 to host the shot put event for both men and women, at Olympia, site of the ancient Games.

The IAAF Council consulted with members of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission, looked at the analysis of technical and logistical issues, and then agreed that the two events could take place at the start of the main athletics program, either on Wednesday, Aug. 18 or Thursday, Aug. 19, and the medal ceremonies for both events will take place in the main Olympic Stadium as originally scheduled on Aug. 20. Track and field events will start Aug. 20.

IAAF president Lamine Diack said having the shot put events at Olympia, about 320 kilometres (200 miles) southwest of Athens, provided an opportunity to link the ancient origins of the Games with athletics in the 21st century, as well as to promote the central role of athletics in the Olympic Games.

He added, “this will be a tremendous opportunity to show a worldwide audience the purity and excitement of athletics competition in a sacred setting. The shot put may now become one of the highlights of the Games”.

Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, head of Athens 2004, called it a historic moment for the Olympic Movement.

She said, “ever since the bidding for the Games in 1997 we were trying to find ways to promote the Ancient Olympia and link the ancient Games with those of the modern era. This bridge of ancient with modern allows us to believe that we will organize unique Games”.

The Association of Greek Archeologists attacked the proposal. The group told the Kathimerini newspaper, “not one stone of the stadium should be touched”. Write or read comments about this article

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