Team Tibet has to deal with political hurdles
to achieve its Olympic dreams

As the calendar is set to turn to 2008 in a few weeks, the sporting world will turn its attention to the Olympics in Beijing.

Athletes from all over the world will be stepping up their training regimes and hoping to qualify for the biggest event in world sport.

But for one group of aspiring athletes, posting good results on the field of play will not be enough.

They also have to deal with political hurdles to achieve their Olympic dreams.

Al Jazeera's Brendan Connor reports.

The Dakar

One of the first sporting events of 2008 will also be one of the toughest - the Dakar Rally.

Competitors will have to navigate a 6,000 kilometer unmarked route from Lisbon to Dakar over the course of 16 days.

Sportsworld's Andy Richardson went to meet the race favourites.

Cup of Nations

The Ivory Coast is warming up for
the African Cup of Nations
We now know the line up for next summer's European football Championships, and the 2010 World Cup qualifying draw has been made, but what of Africa?

Their top clubs have begun their warm up matches for the continent's biggest prize - The African Cup of Nations.

One of the favourites for January's tournament in Ghana will be the Ivory Coast - runners up in 2006, and boasting a host of Premiership superstars.

Sana Hamouche went to meet them.

Tennis Talent

Is Asia the next big thing in tennis?

The sport of tennis is trumpeting Asia as the next big thing.

The body that organises the women's professional tour, the WTA, is setting up an office in China, as it tries to promote the game and its stars across the region.

One of those players that will surely feature heavily in the marketing campaign is a teenager from Japan, who Sportsworld's Wayne Hay caught up with in Bali.

Rare Regatta

You are unlikely to see a Zambian crew competing in the coxless 4's at the Olympics in Beijing next summer.

But it might not be that distant a dream - after all, the nation does host an international rowing regatta on the Zambezi river.

Rahul Pathak reports on one of the world's most unlikely sporting events.

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This episode of Sportsworld aired from November 26, 2007


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Source: Al Jazeera