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  • New Mayor for Beijing, African Hall of Fame Search


    Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong. (Xinhua)  
     New Mayor for Beijing

    With just six month to go before the Beijing Olympics, the city has a new mayor: Guo Jinlong, a 60 year-old with a degree in physics.

    Guo has been acting mayor since last year following a Communist Party of China leadership reshuffle that resulted in a new assignment for predecessor Wang Qishan.

    Guo was formally elected Saturday at a meeting of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, along with nine vice mayors.

    "We must host a high-caliber Olympics and Paralympics with distinction, and make the best preparations and provide the best services and support," he told reporter after the meeting.

    Guo is the third mayor in Beijing since the city won the Games. Liu Qi, who was mayor for the bid and early stages of the organizing committee, is president of BOCOG.

    Under the protocol of the Olympics, Guo would be the Beijing represesentative who hands over the Olympic flag to London Mayor Ken Livingstone during the closing ceremony
    On August 24.

    Guo served as secretary of the CPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee from 2000 to 2004, followed by a similar post in Anhui province.

    "We will successfully hold a high-caliber Olympics and Paralympics with distinguishing features, and the preparations and services should be done at the highest standard and with the best spirit so as to make a contribution to the realization of the 100-year dream of the Chinese nation," Guo said Saturday.

    Keino, Boulmerka to Name Next Hall of Famers

    Kip Keino outside of his training facility in Eldoret, Kenya. (Getty Images)
    The organizers of the Africa International Sport Convention have named Kenya NOC president and IOC member Kip Keino to preside over the jury that will name the next male member of the African Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes people who have contributed to the development of sport in Africa.

    Keino's female counterpart is Algerian 1500m champion Hassiba Boulmerka. The two were the first members of the Hall of Fame, inducted at the CSIA last year. The annual convention is the creation of Jappo SA, a sport event management company founded by Daimil Faye. The next edition runs from Feb. 21 to 23 in Abuja, Nigeria.

    Legat Looks to End of Kenyan Troubles

    Kenyan middle distance champion Bernard Lagat said he believes athletes will be able to help bring Kenya back together after the post-election violence has stopped.

    "One thing I know for a fact is that Kenya will still perform really well at the Olympics," he said.

    "Once the violence is over, the athletes will continue training really well and they are going to make the Kenyan name great again in the way they've always been doing in all sports -- cross country, marathon -- you name it," he told the Associated Press.

    In Brief...

    The Guatemalan Olympic Committee is reported to have hired PR firm Hill and Knowlton to build its public image and that of its athletes. The contract is said to be worth $100,000.

    International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack visited South Korea President-elect Myung-bak Lee, who pledged to fully support 2011 Athletics World Championships in Daegu. Diack said the IAAF chose South Korea as host because of the passion Daegu's citizens . Diack said, "We believe that the championships will open up a brand-new chapter for Korean sports.”

    Lazare Adingono, head coach of Cameroon's basketball team , is optimistic about the future of basketball in Africa. Though they weren't able to topple Africa's top team Angola at the Africa Championship last year, neophytes Cameroon and Cape Verde outlasted perennial powers Egypt, Senegal or Nigeria. "I believe basketball in Africa is on the rise with countries like Cameroon, Cape Verde and Angola," he said. "I think the future is bright for years to come and I am excited for all the young players that will take the African Continent to a different level in the future."

    Bud Selig, the Major League Baseball Commissioner , responded to WADA boss John Fahey's blast at MLB's steroid policy, saying, "WADA does not have a monopoly on independence in the world of drug testing." Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president for labor relations, was more aggressive, calling Fahey's comments unproductive. "These continuing, unprovoked, inaccurate publicity stunts by WADA have created an unwillingness to become more involved with WADA and its affiliates," Manfred said.

    Maria Mutola, the 2000 Olympic 800m champion from Mozambique , announced she is retiring at the end of 2008. The 35-year-old said she expects the Beijing Games to be the high point of her career. Mutola's career spans 20 years, extending back to the 1988 Games, and includes seven gold medals in the World Championships.

    Tyson Gay says he welcomes competition from Paralympians such as Oscar Pistorius. (Getty)
    Tyson Gay, the world 100 and 200 meter champion , said he would not be opposed to racing against double-leg amputee Oscar Pistorius. "If they (Pistorius and other Paralympic athletes) want to go out there and compete just like we do and put their heart in to it, I see no problem with it whatsoever," Gay said during a teleconference announcing his selection as U.S. Olympic Committee sportsman of the year. "It would be great. I think he would be motivating a lot of other people."

    Written by
    Eric Connelly

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