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Last Updated: Monday, 30 August, 2004, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Olympic joy in Greek, Chinese press
Athletes waving Olympic flag
Joy at the Athens success

Newspapers in Greece reflect a mixture of exhilaration that the Athens Olympics proved successful, and relief that they passed off without any major setback.

With Beijing due to host the next Games, Chinese papers are overjoyed that their athletes put China in second place in the final medals table.

The centre-left Athens daily Ta Nea has a front-page picture of fireworks over the Olympic Stadium, and carries IOC President Jacques Rogge's comment that Athens were "unforgettable dream Games".

The doom-mongers were proved wrong
Ethnos

A report lists the Games' high and low points, with the success of the venues, the security measures and the doping checks among the former.

Poor attendance during the first week, the attack on the Brazilian leader in the men's Marathon, and the booing that delayed the men's 200m sprint are presented as the low points.

'Doom-mongers wrong'

The centre-left Ethnos has photos from the closing ceremony and the headline "Greece forever".

A report proclaims that "the doom-mongers were proved wrong", but there are worries about financing the Games.

A cartoon shows Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis watching his children clean car windscreens.

"Prime Minister, are you not ashamed? You are making your children work at this early age?" says a social worker, to which Mr Karamanlis replies: "Our children, and even our great grandchildren, will have to work to pay off our debts from hosting the Olympics."

The left-wing Elevtherotipia has a front-page picture of the closing ceremony, with a quotation from Jacques Rogge, "You have won!", as a headline.

An editorial expresses pleasure at the success of the Games, but stresses that the authorities should now make clear the full cost and the consequences for public finances.

'Blow against Washington'

A commentary in the paper introduces politics into the equation.

It says the safe hosting of the Games "should be understood as a blow against Washington's arrogant policy".

We won, we succeeded, we are changing
Apoyevmatini

"It has proven that terrorism can be confronted only through a better understanding of today's world and through political and diplomatic means, and not through the power of weapons and the arrogance of power, as used by the neo-conservative hawks in Washington".

The rightist Elevtheros Tipos has the front-page headline "We won".

A report comments that, contrary to their behaviour in Sydney, the US athletes behaved extremely well in Athens, without provoking unpleasant incidents.

The English-language daily Athens News runs a special edition, with the front-page headline "IOC hails clean, unforgettable Games".

The rightist Apoyevmatini carries a front-page photo of the closing ceremony, with the headline "We won, we succeeded, we are changing."

Chinese 'breakthrough'

With the next Games scheduled for Beijing, Chinese papers are over the moon at the medal haul in Athens, putting China second only to the US.

"Thirty-two golds! China makes historic breakthrough" shouts Zhongguo Qingnian Bao (China Youth Daily).

China Daily says "Miracles lift China at Athens Games", while Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po concludes "Athens cast in glory, Beijing writes new chapter again."

The baton for the Olympics in four years has already passed into our hands
Renmin Ribao

"The impressive achievements of the athletes in Athens have made Chinese people inside and outside the country feel overjoyed and proud," enthuses an editorial in Hong Kong's Ming Pao.

"All these medals show that... China has finally won the status of a great sporting nation which matches its national strength."

An editorial in Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) is also full of praise: "Our country's sports heroes attracted worldwide attention, defied powerful rivals and achieved a new historic breakthrough for our country's competitive sports."

The paper looks forward to the next challenge: "The baton for the Olympics in four years has already passed into our hands."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




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