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December 31, 2004

China to send 69 athletes for 20th Deaf Olympics

From: Xinhua - Beijing,China - Dec 31, 2004

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- China will send 69 athletes to compete in the 20th annual Deaf Olympics slated from Jan. 5-16 in Melbourne, Australia.

The Chinese delegation will leave Beijing for Melbourne on Friday, including 32 coaches and staff members. They will competein six sports of athletics, badminton, basketball, swimming, tabletennis and tennis.

"We are mainly aiming to provide training opportunities for ourathletes as many of them are debutants for the Deaf Olympics," said Jia Yong, chef de mission of the Chinese delegation here on Thursday.

Up till now, China has competed in the 16th, 18th and 19th DeafOlympics and Yue Xiaodong won China's first gold medal from men's long jump in the 18th Deaf Olympics in 1997.

The quadrennial Deaf Olympics was inaugurated in 1924 in Paris,with its winter version introduced in 1949.

The coming 20th Deaf Olympics is expected to attract more than 3,500 athletes and officials in 15 individual and team events from78 countries and regions. Enditem

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