More medals anticipated

Greece will field its largest ever team at the upcoming Athens Paralympics which begin on Friday and run through September 28. A total of 135 athletes have registered for 17 of 19 sports planned for the event. Greek athletes will not compete in two events: wheelchair rugby and 7X7 soccer. Team officials are hoping that the squad’s size will boost its medal hopes. In Sydney four years ago, Greece’s far smaller team of 42 athletes emerged with a total of 11 medals. «We don’t want to make any predictions about the number of medals,» noted Aristides Pananos, president of the country’s athletics federation for disabled persons. «But I believe we will do well. Most athletes fought to gain their berths,» he added. Approximately 4,000 athletes representing a total of 142 countries will take part in the Athens Paralympics. Most national squads have already arrived and are based at the Olympic Village where they are making final preparations. The International Paralympics Committee has warned that it will intensify its battle against drug users. Some 650 Paralympic athletes underwent tests in Sydney.

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