5 Aug 2008

IOC chief sees "magnificent Games"

11:17 am on 5 August 2008

The International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge says the Beijing Games will be a landmark event for the Olympic movement, with more countries and more women competing than ever.

Two hundred and five countries will be competing in Beijing compared with 201 at the Athens Olympics in 2004, according to the IOC's website.

Rogge says one billion television viewers are expected to watch live coverage of the opening creremony on Friday night.

There are more than 10,000 athletes in Beijing and Rogge says the Games will significantly advance the goal of universality and fair play in several ways with the number of female athletes rising from just over 40 per cent in Athens to about 45 per cent.