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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 November 2006, 15:49 GMT
Mayor says UK can learn from Cuba
Ken Livingstone
Mr Livingstone attended a cricket match in Havana
The UK can learn from Cuba's Olympic achievements, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has said.

Mr Livingstone, who on a tour of a Latin America, said he wanted to find out how the Caribbean island "engaged their young people in sport".

"Though Cuba's only got a fifth of the population of Britain, it gets as many medals in the Olympics as we do," he told a sports congress in Havana.

He also attended a cricket match as part of a drive to develop the sport.

'Engaging people'

In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Britain and Cuba came in tenth and eleventh place respectively, both with nine gold medals.

Mr Livingstone said he wanted to learn more about Cuba's successful sports programmes ahead of London hosting the Games in 2012.

"Clearly they're doing something right here about engaging their young people in sport, and that's what I'm really interested in finding out about."

He said he was not expecting to meet Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has been recovering from intestinal surgery.

"I'd be honoured," he said. "But I'd much rather he got well, and got back into being in charge," he said.

He is due to fly on to Venezuela to meet President Hugo Chavez on Monday.

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