London Olympics: We are in the G8 of sport: Italian Olympic panel chief

Rome: Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) president Gianni Petrucci has said "the Italian team has excelled in the London Olympics" and that the country has earned one more medal than it did in Beijing four years ago.

"We are in the G8 of sport," he said, pointing out that Italy has been placed eighth in the medal standings with 28 medals - eight gold, nine silver and 11 bronze from the 290 athletes, reports Xinhua.

Encouraged by the results, the Italian media said the country should invest more in sports education and its positive values.

Milan-based Corriere della Sera newspaper, the largest circulation paper in Italy, wrote: "It was the Olympics of common people" who became "the real protagonists of the event along with both winning and losing champions."

The media noted that the Mediterranean country`s overall sport level is still not good enough, as Italy should invest much more in school education.

Rome-based la Republica newspaper described as "really great" the results achieved by the Italian Olympics team but urged the government to enhance sports activities at school.

The newspaper called it unacceptable that in a country resulting eighth in the medal count, students have merely two hours of sports education per week on average at primary and secondary school, while they often give up sport activities at university.

The fact that Italy`s race walker Alex Schwazer was withdrawn from the London Olympics after failing a drugs test was also interpreted by local media as an important warning for young Italians approaching to the sports world.

Schwazer made and incredible mistake but was able to acknowledge and publicly admit it, La Stampa newspaper noted.

With its thousands of stories, the Games provided a metaphor of life in many fields, the Turin-based newspaper said recalling the words of encouragement from President Giorgio Napolitano for the recession-hit country.

The London Olympics were an evidence of Italy`s capacity to bring out its "extraordinary energies" especially in difficult times, Napolitano said in a statement.

IANS

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