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Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 13:39 UK

Brunei excluded from 2008 Games

Olympics Bird's nest
The Olympics competitive action in Beijing begins on Saturday

The International Olympic Committee has excluded Brunei from the Beijing Games after the South East Asian country failed to register any of its athletes.

Brunei had until midnight ahead of Friday's ceremony, which started at 1245 BST, but missed the deadline.

"It is a great shame and very sad for the athletes who lose out," an IOC spokeswoman said.

Brunei's absence means that only 204 countries will compete at the Olympics, which officially started on Friday.

The IOC's Emmanuelle Moreau said in a statement: "The IOC tried up until the last minute to have them register, but to no avail."

The Brunei athletes involved are 15-year-old swimmer Maria Grace Koh and shot putter Mohammed Yazid Yatimi Yusof.

see also
Olympics opening ceremony begins
08 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Opening ceremony photos
08 Aug 08 |  Olympics

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