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Wednesday, August 23, 2000
East Timorese athletes named to compete at Sydney Games

 DARWIN, Australia (AP) -- Four athletes from East Timor were named Wednesday to compete at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, although they won't be competing for their newly independent nation.

 A boxer, a weightlifter, and two female marathoners will compete in the Olympics as individual athletes, will wear white uniforms and march behind the Olympic flag.

 The East Timorese will march into Olympic Stadium just before host Australia during the opening ceremony.

 The International Olympic Committee announced that the athletes had met minimum qualification standards.

 It is only the second time that independent athletes have been allowed to compete in a modern Olympics since the advent of national team competition. A Yugoslav squad was the first in 1992.

 Victor Ramos, a 30-year-old boxer who will compete in the 60 kilogram class, has already won a medal at the Asian Games while competing for Indonesia.

 He is expected to lead the East Timorese contingent, which also includes Martinho De Araujo, 27, and female runners Aguida Amaral, 25, and Calisto Da Costa, 22.

 East Timor has been under United Nations administration since voting for independence from Indonesia last year. The territory does not yet have self-government and does not fulfil criteria for Olympic recognition. However, the IOC bowed to pressure from Australia and other nations to give the Timorese a chance to compete in Sydney.

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