Berlin: Germany will field their smallest Olympic team since the country's reunification in 1990 at this month's London Games after nominating 391 athletes, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) said on Monday.

The Germans, long an Olympic powerhouse, will send a team of 217 men and 174 women, excluding 16 alternate athletes, to London for the July 27-Aug. 12 Games.

"Now the team is complete," said DOSB pesident Thomas Bach. "The qualifying results allow us to travel to London with optimism and confidence."

Among those called up for national duty are 23 medal winners from the 2008 Beijing Olympics where Germany sent a team of 440 athletes and finished in fifth place on the medals table with 16 gold medals, 10 silver and 15 bronze.

Team officials said the delegation was stronger because despite having just three teams in the team sports compared to nine in Beijing they still came close to 400 athletes.

"These six teams that are missing represent another 80 athletes or so, so it is clear that we are in fact stronger than in past Olympics," a DOSB official told Reuters.

Germany sent 449 athletes to the 2004 Athens Games and 428 athletes to Sydney four years earlier.  


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