Wednesday,21 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)
Wednesday,21 November, 2018
Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Briefs

First YOG gold medal
Australia’s Brittany DUTTON has claimed the first gold medal of the 2nd Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing, winning the women’s triathlon at the Xuanwu Lake Triathlon Venue in 59 minutes 56 seconds. Stephanie JENKS (USA) took silver, just 37 seconds behind, and Emilie MORIER (FRA) secured the bronze.


Double vision
Spectators at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games rowing regatta will literally be seeing double. Two sets of twins — Chile’s Melita and Antonia Abraham and Australia’s Tyler and Miller Ferris — faced the starter in Monday’s heats of the junior women’s pairs at the Xuanwu Lake Rowing-Canoeing Venue. The four girls, all 17 years old, agree rowing with a sibling born minutes apart has its advantages and disadvantages.

“We match each other in height, weight and reach, which is great for boat balance, rhythm and run, but mostly it’s just plain hard work,” Tyler said. “We get on well in the boat, but as far as conversation coming down the course is concerned, we pretty well just throw any thoughts of a race plan out the window and just go for it. The course is only 1000m long, so there’s not much time for talk anyway.”

On the other hand, the Chileans, who form the female half of a set of rowing quadruplets, admit to having “sister moments” in their boat. “It can be very difficult rowing together. We say what we think sometimes without worrying about offending the other person,” Melita said. “We were good sisters growing up and we are best friends. Just sometimes [in the boat] we don’t respect each other.”

The Abraham quadruplets were born in July 1997. Brothers Alfredo and Ignacio also row at representative level as members of the Chilean men’s quadruple sculls crew (a class not boating in Nanjing), but suggestions of a family mixed quad scull forming any time in the future are quickly dashed by the girls.
“We tried rowing together in the same boat once but we had to turn around after a very short time because we were fighting too much,” Antonia said.


Athletes’ centre
The Youth Olympic Village (YOV) Training and Fitness Centre located in the athletes’ residential area receives 300 athletes a day. In addition to providing regular fitness services, the centre is also the training venue for taekwondo and 3x3 basketball. It is built based on the highest international standards and is equipped with an indoor basketball court, yoga training room and strength training room.


High media coverage
A record number of news media are covering all aspects of the Second Summer Olympic Games, currently underway. Accredited media for the Nanjing 2014 have reached a record 3,783, from 85 countries and regions.


The venue cluster
The Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre venue cluster is hosting competitions in seven sports, including athletics, swimming and gymnastics, among others, making it the witness of the most events and medals during the Second Summer Youth Olympic Games. A total of 97 gold medals and more than 290 medals overall will be awarded here, amounting to about 44% of the full number of medals.

In addition to hosting competitions, it is the host venue for the opening and closing ceremonies. A food-safety traceability system has been set up and food and beverage contacts from all departments appointed to ensure the timely relay of food-safety information.

More than 1,800 volunteers from Nanjing University of Science & Technology and Nanjing Agricultural University are serving at the venue cluster of Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre.


Tickets sales
More than 390,000 available public tickets for the Second Summer Youth Olympic Games have been sold. Tickets to all equestrian, sailing and diving events and basketball and tennis finals have been sold out and more than 80% of tickets sold for badminton preliminaries, rhythmic gymnastics preliminaries, shooting finals, basketball preliminaries and fencing finals. Also, more than 50% of tickets to hockey semi-finals and finals, archery knockouts, women’s football preliminaries, tennis preliminaries, beach volleyball preliminaries, cycling preliminaries and boxing finals have been sold.


For free
More than 60,000 spectators attending the opening ceremony of the Second Summer Youth Olympic Games each found a gift bag on their seats. They were not gifts put there by magic. However, they seemed to form a magical mosaic displaying the carefulness of more than 1,000 volunteers from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, because it was them who filled and distributed these gift bags. Inside the white bags with green stripes were a disposable raincoat, inflatable fluorescent light, Nanjing 2014 promotional brochure, mineral water and a programme schedule.

The volunteers began their grand task the night before the games’ opening, forming various “assembly lines” where volunteers on each assembly line would only put one item inside each bag. Even if the tasks were well divided, they still checked the bags one by one to make sure each seat had a gift bag that had everything in it.


Ebola prevention measures
The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a public health emergency of international concern. Accordingly, the Chinese government has responded rapidly to the appeal of WHO by offering needed medical materials to the affected West African countries and dispatching experts to assist their Ebola control efforts.

Even before the kick-off of the games, NYOGOC and IOC have kept updating their knowledge of the spread of the disease and have been in constant contact with WHO. NYOGOC has installed some prevention measures among which are medical check upon entry into China, strengthening surveillance in the venues and YOV, assessment of risks, joint prevention arrangements and increase of input for Ebola prevention, so as to minimise the risks. In each venue and athletes’ residential place, the temperatures of all athletes are monitored and there is no implication of prejudice. The measures taken for Ebola prevention in special areas and events have received understanding from athletes of all participant countries (regions) and IOC.


Welcome party
Nearly 3,000 YOG athletes enjoyed a fantastic welcome party at the Youth Olympic Village Square on the eve of the opening ceremony, highlighted by the surprise appearance of Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee. Bach participated in the welcome party, which was extraordinarily exciting with both interactive games and the mingling of well-known Olympic champions and the youthful would-be Olympic stars.

The IOC president was impressed by the colourful party, saying he was glad to see the young athletes so happy and excited. He also expressed his appreciation of the organisational efforts of YOV.

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