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Report: Beijing Wants Later Date

August 9, 2002

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BEIJING (AP) _ Chinese Olympic organizers wants to begin the 2008 Games later than usual to save athletes from the scorching summer heat, the government news agency said Friday.

The International Olympic Committee has suggested the 2008 Olympics open during the last week of July or the first week of August, the Xinhua News Agency said.

``All the preparations are running smoothly,″ said Beijing Mayor Liu Qi, also head of the 2008 organizing committee, quoted in the state-controlled China Daily newspaper.

Temperatures in Beijing typically reach 100 degrees this time of year. At midday Friday, the temperature in central Beijing, under a blistering sun, was 86 degrees.

The schedule will be decided next year, Xinhua said.

IOC members have been meeting with the organizing committee this week about various logistics for China’s first-ever Olympics.

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