ibnlive » Sports

Sep 02, 2006 at 05:59pm IST

'Beijing progress good, stay focussed'

Athens: International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge says preparations for the 2008 Beijing Games are on track but feels good use of the time remaining is vital for a well-organised Olympics.

"The regular reports I receive are very positive as we see the amazing venues that Beijing decided to build, taking shape," Rogge told Greek newspaper Eleftheros Typos in an interview on Saturday.

"But the two years left until the staging of the Games are crucial. We must remain focusSed and not digress from our aim," he added.

KEEP IT GOING: IOC President praised the organising of the event and urged them to maintain it.

Games officials have said all of their venues will be completed in 2007 in time for pre-Games testing.

China is also pumping an additional $40 billion to upgrade the capital's infrastructure for the Olympics.

That involves the construction of new roads, railways and metro lines as well as a third terminal at Beijing airport.

However, preparations have not been trouble-free with the head of construction Liu Zhihua, a Beijing vice-mayor, sacked in June and accused of corruption and bad morals.

The shock departure of Liu Zhihua was a big blow for organisers who have promised the Beijing Games will be the "cleanest" held.

Hong Kong, site of the equestrian events, is also facing a tight race to complete venues after Games organisers shifted the competitions there because they could not guarantee a disease-free area for horses in the Chinese capital.

"With BOCOG (Beijing Games organisers) progressing from a planning stage to an operational stage focusing on the clients, it is crucial it continues working to integrate all bodies involved in organising the Games," Rogge said.

"I have great trust that our Chinese friends will be successful in making this transition and we will see successful Games in 2008," he said.