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Oversized stretcher and bed stand by for the tall men
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Beijing Olympic organizers are putting an extra large stretcher, a spine board and a clinical bed in store for the world's tallest basketball players in their last-minute preparations for the Olympics.

Logistic service providers of the Games delivered the 2.4-meter-long stretcher over the weekend to the Wukesong Stadium in western Beijing, where basketball and baseball competitions will be held.

The orange stretcher, painted with "Beijing 2008, Beijing First-Aid Center" in Chinese, has six pairs of belt loops to fix the patient, twice the number for an average 1.8-meter-long stretcher.

The clinic at the Wukesong Stadium is also equipped with a 2.4-meter long clinical bed.

"We applied with the Games organizers to order an extra long bed after the Good Luck Beijing test events in April -- back then, all the clinical beds here were just 2.1 meters long and were very uncomfortable for the patients," a worker at the stadium said on condition of anonymity.

Basketball players are around 2 meters tall on average and China's star Yao Ming stands at 2.26 meters.

"Of course we hope no one would get injured and all the athletes play well at the Games," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2008)

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