construction workforce on the increase Beijing will almost double the number of construction workers building venues for the 2008 Olympics by the end of the year as it battles to meet its target of finishing all 31 new games venues by the end of 2007, organisers said. By the end of the year there would be 30,000 people working on the sites, up from the present 17,000, an official said, adding that all facilities were on schedule to be completed before the end of 2007. But they admitted they were facing some difficulties. 'The construction involves many new methods and materials never used in China before. There are some problems on the technology resource side,' an official said. basketball players take up boxing China's women's national basketball team are slugging it out in the ring in preparation for the Beijing games. Their Australian head coach Tom Maher has introduced boxing training to help the players get quicker and stronger. 'It is a new training method. It improves agility and strength,' he said. Team manager Bai Xilin applauded the new training, saying: 'Chinese players lack fighting spirit on the court. We need to fight for every ball and should not be afraid of physical clashes. We ask them to punch and fight during the boxing training and make them learn not to step back and quit.' The team came a disappointing ninth in the Athens games.