Progress at slalom site

International Canoe Federation officials expressed satisfaction yesterday over progress made at the delayed seaside 2004 Olympic canoe and kayak slalom venue, 2004 organizers said. The main part of the construction has not yet started at the site, but groundwork is under way. «We are impressed with the course. .. As soon as it is finished, it will be by far the best in the world for slalom,» 2004 organizers quoted Ulrich Feldoff, president of the canoe federation, as saying after meetings in Athens. The venue – to be constructed at Athens’s old international airport at Hellenikon – is a major concern for the International Olympic Committee. Last year the venue was moved from another area after objections from environmentalists. New studies and plans were needed, which set back the start of construction. Officials have said that construction must be in full swing by September. Athens officials also announced yesterday that they had held meetings with Francis X. Taylor, head of the counterterrorism office at the US State Department, and a delegation of Chinese officials from the organizing committee of the 2008 Beijing Games. (AP)

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