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Golf nominated for demonstration at Olympics

Martial arts are sparring with golf for a place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after both were nominated as potential demonstration events, Xinhua news agency said Friday.

"Golf's inclusion makes sense as the game is becoming increasingly popular in China with about 200 courses and 200 more under construction," the agency quoted Cui Zhiqiang, secretary general of the China Golf Association, as saying.

There were more than 500,000 regular golfers in China, Xinhua said.

"But the inclusion of golf at the 2008 Beijing Olympics has run into opposition in the form of a group of supporters lobbying for wushu, the famous Chinese martial art," Cui said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already turned down China's application to make wushu a medal sport in 2008.

Both sports are relative long shots, even in demonstration, as an existing event would have to be dropped to make way.

The IOC is expected to make a decision by June 2005.

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