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IOC president hails performance of Chinese athletes in Shanghai Olympic Qualifier Series

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IOC president hails performance of Chinese athletes in Shanghai Olympic Qualifier Series

2024-05-20 12:16 Last Updated At:05-21 21:43

Many Chinese athletes were qualified to compete the new sports of Olympic Games in just few years and showed their potential to win medals in the Olympic Qualifier Series (OQS) Shanghai stop, said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The competitions of four emerging Olympic sports in Shanghai stop, including skateboarding, sport climbing, break-dancing and BMX freestyle cycling, concluded on Sunday. A total of 28 Chinese athletes competed across the four items, with the goal of earning more qualification positions for the Paris Olympics.

Bach said at a press conference on Sunday that many Chinese athletes have been in the top three in the last two days.

"I came here, I watched the first event, and it was a clean sweep for China. So I think this is setting some expectations. If you look at such a great performance and we've seen it, over the two days, more number of the Chinese athletes have been in the top three ranking, where you put this in the context. It's another amazing development here in China. Because five years ago, there were hardly any Chinese athletes being represented in these new sports. Now in this very few years, you see, here a number of athletes who are with their performance here are establishing themselves, not only as the participants of the Olympic Games, but also as potential medal winners in the event," said Bach.

In the BMX Freestyle Women's Park Final, China's Sun Sibei, Sun Jiaqi and Deng Yawen won the gold, silver and bronze awards respectively.

In women's speed climbing, China's Zhou Yafei clinched first prize with a speed of just 6.54 seconds, her personal record. And in men's speed climbing, China's Wu Peng won second prize with 4.88 seconds, just 0.05 seconds behind Indonesia's Veddriq Leonardo, who won the game.

In break-dancing, China's Qi Xiangyu also won second prize.

The 2024 Paris Olympic Games are set to take place from July 26 to August 11.

IOC president hails performance of Chinese athletes in Shanghai Olympic Qualifier Series

IOC president hails performance of Chinese athletes in Shanghai Olympic Qualifier Series

IOC president hails performance of Chinese athletes in Shanghai Olympic Qualifier Series

IOC president hails performance of Chinese athletes in Shanghai Olympic Qualifier Series

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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

2024-06-20 02:18 Last Updated At:06:17

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war in a series of prohibited indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, according to a report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office on Wednesday.

Released during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the report details six notable attacks targeting Gaza's residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market between Oct 9 and Dec 2, 2023, which involved the suspected use of GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-39 bombs.

"The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31s, or 2,000-pound bombs, GBU-32 1,000-pound bombs, and GBU-39, 250-pound bombs from the 9th of October to the 2nd of December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market," said Jeremy Laurence, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a press briefing in Geneva.

GBU-31, 32 and 39 bombs are mostly used to penetrate through several floors of concrete and can completely collapse tall structures. Given how densely populated the areas targeted were, the use of an explosive weapon with such wide area effects is highly likely to amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, the report finds.

The OHCHR has reported that at least 218 deaths have been confirmed as a direct consequence of the six attacks. However, it cautioned that the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher.

"The report concludes that these Israeli strikes indicate that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organizational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity," said Laurence.

The report also says that such unlawful targeting may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

"Israel's choices of methods and means of conducting hostilities in Gaza since the 7th of October, including through the extensive use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas, have failed to ensure that they effectively distinguish between civilians and fighters," said Laurence.

"It became very clear to us that the nature of weapons that were used, especially on a wide area, that have a wide area effect, is extremely dangerous in the context of Gaza, and we have been saying this, in several reports and statements, that Gaza is a very densely populated area. And in these six incidents, we had sufficient information to demonstrate, the civilian casualties, both in terms of the deaths as well as injuries, and where we felt that the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly precaution, distinction, proportionality, were not necessarily followed," said Ajith Sunghay, an official with the OHCHR in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although the report primarily focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel, inconsistent with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

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