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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 February, 2004, 14:14 GMT
Athens 'must improve access'
Construction of the Ano Liossia Olympic Hall facility in Athens continues
Construction work is still under way in Athens
International Paralympic Committee chiefs have called for organisers of the Athens Paralympics to improve access for the disabled in the city.

Following a three-day inspection, IPC officials are concerned that planned improvements will not be ready in time for the September Games.

"There is a lot of work still needed, especially with obstacles in the way on the pavements," said IPC spokesperson Miriam Wilkens.

"We need to see more results now."

Greece had earmarked an extra 17m to improve disabled facilities in the capital which has been repeatedly criticised for its poor disabled access.

Athens organisers have planned to build ramps, repair pavements and provide specially equipped buses and taxis.

IPC chiefs are also anxious to ensure that athletes are able to get around the Paralympic complexes quickly and easily.

"What we are interested in is shortening the transportation times between the Paralympic village and venues," said Wilkens.

"They speak about the legacy they want to leave about making Athens accessible and we saw in Barcelona (1992 Paralympics) that it does take time."

Tickets for the Games have been sent to national Paralympic committees and around 750,00 spectators are expected to attend.



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