Georgia athletes hold Beijing vigil

Olympic team holds candle-lit vigil for peace as fighting continues in Georgia.

    The Georgians called for peace in their homeland [Reuters]

    He said it was difficult for the athletes to concentrate on their performance at the Olympics with the conflict raging back home.

    "Their heart is with their family, their brothers, their sisters, their people, so of course it is very difficult," he said.

    Earlier on Sunday Russian and Georgian competitors shared a podium and an embrace after they won medals in the women's 10-metre air pistol.

    Russia's Natalia Paderina and Georgia's Nino Salukvadze took the silver and bronze medals respectively, with the Georgian scoring her country's first medal of the Beijing games.

    After the medal ceremony, Salukvadze put her arm around Paderina and the two posed together for photographs.

    "This medal is good for Georgia, especially during times like this," said Salukvadze who has known Paderina since their early days in competition.

    "If the world were to draw any lessons from what we do, there wouldn't be any wars. We live in the 21st century after all and we shouldn't stoop so low as to wage wars."

    The Georgian team had considered pulling out of the Olympics at the weekend, but late on Saturday Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgian president, told the team to remain in Beijing in the best interests of the country.

    On Wednesday, Russian and Georgian teams are due to face each other in the women's beach volleyball competition.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.