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Athens Olympic Organizers Upbeat After Practice Rounds - 2003-08-17

Organizers of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens were upbeat Sunday, after the latest round practice runs went ahead without any major problems.

Test events staged at the equestrian, canoeing and cycling competitions ran with just minor glitches, a far cry from last week at the rowing venue. That test suffered from boats sinking, events cancelled due to high winds, and an outbreak of salmonella poisoning.

Athens organizers released a statement saying their mood was positive after the latest round of tests. The statement admitted to a few mistakes but pointed out that "the aim of these tests is to iron those out." Chief organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said the tests underlined the amount of progress already achieved by Greece in preparing for the Games, and also showed how determined the country was to stage Games of the highest caliber.

Three more trials, at the archery, beach volleyball and sailing venues, are scheduled to be held before the end of the month.