Indian athletes all geared up at Athens

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Indian athletes are undergoing rigorous training sessions to acclimatise themselves to the conditions.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Athens :

With just 48 hours to go for the opening of the 28th Olympiad, Indian athletes are undergoing rigorous training sessions to acclimatise themselves to the conditions. Most of the Indian contingent members, who have checked into the Games village, have not only visited the competition venues but are also spending considerable time training under the supervision of their coaches. The shooters, boxers, weightlifters, sailors, the lone swimmer, table tennis players and the badminton players, who were the first to check in at the village a couple of days back, have made good use of the practice facilities avalaible at the venues. Arrival of the Indian contingent The Indian hockey team also reached this ancient city after undergoing a rigorous training programme in Germany. After a light breakfast, the team left for a practice session at the Helliniko Olympic Complex, venue for the hockey competions beginning on Saturday. The training was held under the watchful eyes of new German coach Gerhard Rach. The Indians, who are placed in the tough Group B, will open their campaign against defending champions The Netherlands on Sunday. The tennis duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, one of the main medal contenders, joined the contingent after they were received by the Indian Olympic Association officials at the airport. Sydney bronze-medal winner Karnam Malleswari and shuttler Nikhil Kanetkar also checked in later in the afternoon. The athletic contingent, barring ace long jumper Anju Bobby George, was expected to reach in small batches from their various training bases in Europe in the next few days. Chef-de-mission of the Indian contingent Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi and IOA president Suresh Kalmadi will reach tomorrow. Health problems There have been some speculation about Anju's health after reaching Athens, but a top IOA official categorically denied reports that she was down with fever. "Anju is fine and is practising. She has no fever. She is totally focussed and is enjoying her stay here", the official said. The Indian sportspersons have been asked to return to the village by evening so that they can be present at the flag hoisting ceremony. (PTI)

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