NEWS

Sakorafa bid to throw for Palestine rejected

The International Olympic Committee has turned down a request by veteran Greek javelin-thrower and former world recordholder Sofia Sakorafa to compete in the Athens Games under the flag of Palestine, in a symbolic «peace and solidarity» gesture. At a press conference yesterday at the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Athens, Sakorafa, 47, said the IOC had told Palestine’s Olympic Committee that she could not take part in the Games «due to a technical problem.» «Until now, nobody knows the reason,» said Sakorafa, who has been granted honorary Palestinian citizenship. The secretary-general of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Istvan Gyulai, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying Sakorafa had not done well enough in her trial throws. «The Olympic Games are not for political demonstrations,» he said.