NEWS

Marathon mayor to block race?

The mayor of Marathon has threatened to prevent the Olympic road race from taking place during the 2004 Games if the government goes through with plans to move the canoe and kayak slalom course, he said in a letter yesterday. Marathon Mayor Christos Barbas sent a letter to the Hellenic Amateur Athletic Federation threatening to stop this year’s race from taking place on November 4. Barbas said the Marathon town council decided to stage dynamic mobilizations which will extend to 2004 and peak with the obstruction of the annual marathon races if the slalom course is moved. The government decided in May to move the canoe and kayak slalom course from Rizari, about 40 kilometers north of Athens, to the area that housed Athens’ old airport at Hellenikon. The Rizari site is next to a planned Olympic rowing center in Schinias. That seaside venue has been attacked by environmental groups and archaeologists. (AP)