Olympics: Haze chokes Beijing again

2008-08-04 00:00

Special lampposts outside Beijing’s National Stadium, the site of the Olympic Games starting on Friday, were shrouded in haze yesterday.

The air quality worsened yesterday despite claims by Chinese officials that drastic anti-pollution measures have reduced the chances of having to reschedule Olympic events.

‘I believe the likelihood of rescheduling sporting events due to air quality concerns is very low,’ said Fan Yuansheng, director of pollution control at the ministry of Environmental Protection, quoted by China Daily.

International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge warned last year that poor air during the Games could result in the suspension of some events, particularly endurance races such as the marathon.

In a bid to improve the air, one million of the city’s 3,3 million cars were taken off the roads from July 20, and more than 100 heavily polluting factories and building sites were closed down.

Chinese authorities have said they could take further measures if air quality remains poor.

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