1. ITV Report

Olympic teams arrive in Kent

Nepalese Olympic athletes train in Canterbury Photo: ITV Meridian

It's not the biggest Olympic squad in the world - two sprinters, two swimmers, and a shooter - but the Nepalese team is determined to put on a good show for the 29 million of their countrymen who'll be tuned in later this month. And it's a big deal here too. Says Dinesh Khadka of the Maidstone Nepalese Community Association:

"We are one of the largest communities in Kent, around all the towns in Kent, and even though the Nepalese team are very small, to have them in our town where they are doing the training that is really exciting."

"We have a long-standing relationship with the Nepali people through the Gurkhas in Folkestone and Maidstone with a big Nepali community in Ashford" adds Chris Hespe from Kent County Council. "Let's see if we can actually cement that and help things along by accommodating their athletes."

The Russian equestrian team has also landed in the county after an exhausting journey. Rider Mikhail Nastenko describes the trip:

"The journey was not very easy at all. We started off in Moscow, then went to St Petersburg and Finland, where we had to rest the horses, then we went through Germany to Holland and then to the UK. It was about three-thousand miles and took five days."

Tired after their voyage, the horses and athletes are now settling in to their base in Sittingbourne. Stables owner Ksenia Jones is delighted:

"It's very exciting and we've worked really, really hard. We're very happy with the feedback from the head trainer and from the riders themselves, they're very happy and they seem to really enjoy the beautiful Kent countryside. I think they've fallen in love with Kent already!"

"The facilities are very good, the surface of the ground is excellent" exclaims rider Andrey Korshunov. "The weather is really good for us because it's not too hot - in Russia it is very hot at the moment so the weather is very good the way it is."

The team will compete in eventing and jumping at the Olympic equestrian centre at Greenwich Park but won't be drawn on their chances. Team boss Vladimir Tishkin explains:

"It's a bad soldier who doesn't want to be a general so every rider hopes for really good results and they're all working really hard to achieve that. Among the Russian team is a rider who competed at the previous Olympics so we can't predict the chances but we'll certainly give it our best try."

Joining the Russians and Nepalese in Kent very soon will be the judo teams from Ukraine and Belarus, and the Egyptian boxing squad, with more due in the days to follow.

Watch the video report below:-