Over 100 Ukrainian athletes are expected to qualify for the Paris Olympics this summer, according to the president of the war-hit country's Olympic committee.

About 150 athletes from Ukraine took part in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, and a similar-sized team is expected for Paris, Vadym Guttsait said in a recent interview with Kyodo News.

More than 400 athletes and coaches have reportedly died since Russia invaded in February 2022, while about 500 sports-related facilities have been destroyed.

Ukraine's National Olympic Committee President Vadym Guttsait gives an interview in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Jan. 17, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The war has left Ukrainian athletes in difficult circumstances within their own country, and many have opted to train abroad.

But that has not stopped over 50 athletes from already earning berths for Paris.

"I expect the number to top 100 eventually. I'd like to send my gratitude to all the athletes and staff involved," Guttsait said.

The International Olympic Committee in December permitted the participation of Russians and Belarusians in Paris as "neutral athletes."

Guttsait said social media posts of athletes from the two nations are being monitored for support of the invasion.

Posts that display the "Z" -- used by the Russian military in Ukraine to distinguish its forces -- or otherwise show support for the invasion are being reported to the IOC and international sporting federations, according to Guttsait.

Guttsait said he will continue working to stop such athletes from participating in the Paris Games.

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