Thu, Mar 04, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Premier calls for firmer support for Olympians

CNA , TAIPEI

With only 163 days to go before the opening of the Athens Olympic Games, Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday called for full support for coaches and athletes to help the nation win its first Olympic gold medal.

The premier made the appeal as he listened to a National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports report on this year's Olympic strategy.

The premier heard that the 62-strong team will take part in nine events, the largest showing in several years. Taiwan excels in taekwondo, shooting, archery and baseball, and could win gold. It also has a good medal chance in table tennis, weight lifting, and women's softball.

Yu said that the Olympics is the pantheon of world sports, but noted that the Republic of China has yet to break its "gold duck" since it first began taking part in the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1932.

He said "it has become the goal and aspiration of all Taiwanese people to win our first gold."

Yu also instructed the council to target certain events and elite athletes for intensive training and urged ministries and other government agencies to assist the coaches and athletes.

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