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IOC Vice President Inspects Softball Venue
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President Lambis Nikolaou threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game between Chinese Taipei and Venezuela at women's softball World Championship on Wednesday.

Nikolaou has been an IOC member since 1986 and was also the Vice President of the Organizing Committee for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

The World Championship is the first Olympic test event in Beijing with 16 teams competing in two pools, which will produce four spots (excluding China, the host) participating the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

The 2008 Olympic softball tournament will be the last for at least eight years. Softball first featured as a medal sport at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, but it was removed from the Olympic events for the 2012 London Olympics.

(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2006)

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