Most Athletes Likely To Survive Olympics, Pledges China

LESS than 50% of the athletes competing in this year's Olympic games will be killed by airborne poisons, the Chinese government said last night.

Beijing early today

Amid fears the pollution was so thick no-one would be able to see where they were going, the organisers have given runners a headlamp and a horn to prevent them from bumping into each other.

But the Chinese authorities admitted there will be 'many, many casualties' amongst both competitors and spectators in the shooting, archery and javelin competitions.

Olympic president Jacques Rogge said: "I am assured the pollution levels will only affect those engaged in vigorous physical activity."

He added: "It is right that we celebrate the great Olympic traditions of freedom, co-operation and physical excellence in the midst of a murderous dictatorship where no-one can breathe."

Observers say the pollution levels may lead to a scarcity of new world records with the Marathon competitors being given permission to break their 26-mile journey with an overnight stop.

Meanwhile world leaders have gathered for what is tipped to be a vast and terrifying opening ceremony during which China is expected to arrest everyone in the stadium before launching a full-scale invasion of the moon.

Tom Logan, a trainee solicitor from Luton, said: "When's the 100m final?"