Six Vietnamese athletes book berths at first Youth Olympics

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At least six young Vietnamese athletes will participate in the first ever Youth Olympic Games (YOG) held in Singapore this August.

Two taekwondo martial artists, two weightlifters, one track & field athlete and one shooter have booked berths for the event, while a few more athletes, especially wrestlers, are also expected to earn their places after doing well in the qualifying rounds.

YOG, a brainchild of International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, is expected to welcome some 3,200 athletes aged between 14 and 18 and 800 officials and coaches from about 200 countries and territories.

The August 14-26 event is being promoted as more than a sporting event. It is seen as an opportunity to enhance youth education and boost cultural exchange, and will differ from the Olympic Games in that respect.

Francis Chong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee, said that for the young generation, competing and winning medals was not the most important thing. It was equally important that they "learn the values of sports and life and understand different cultures."

The world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, for instance, can finish a 100-meter distance in less than 10 seconds, and then he has nothing more to do, noted Chong.

But young athletes at the Singapore 2010 YOG will have to participate in other activities before and after their competitions, he added.

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