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THE INSIDE TRACK

Countdown To Olympics

August 22, 2000|Associated Press

* Days until opening ceremony: 24.

* Olympic update: The International Olympic Committee has invited Afghanistan's Taliban rulers to send two observers to the Sydney Games, but has rejected appeals for Afghan athletes to be allowed to compete because the nation does not meet IOC requirements for recognition.

* March to the medals: The U.S. women's basketball team faces Canada on Tuesday night in San Antonio, the first of nine exhibition games leading to the Sydney Games.

* Carrying the torch: The trek has continued 127 1/2 miles around the northeastern corner of New South Wales, a few hundred miles north of Sydney. Made a lunch stop in Glen Innes, known to Aborigines as Eehrindi or "wild strawberry."

* Olympic footnote: Sydney Airport officials pledged $1.2 million to fix their troubled 3-month-old baggage system and are prepared to dump the entire system if problems persist before the Olympic crunch.

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