Athletes are not the only ones polishing their performances for the Beijing Olympics.
Security staff who will ensure the smooth running of the 2008 Games began rehearsals yesterday, ahead of two international sports championships due to take place in Beijing this summer.
The IAAF World Junior Championships and the ISF Women's Softball World Championships are being seen as an opportunity for all Olympic departments to test their readiness for the games.
Security staff keeping watch over the two tournaments, as they will over the Olympics, include staff from local public security bureaus, armed police, professional security guards and student volunteers.
"The security operations in these two events are the prelude to our work during the 2008 Games," said Yu Hongyuan, vice-director of the Security Command Centre for the Games of the 29th Olympiad.
"With this work we can test the results of our Olympic security training, improve co-operation between departments and iron-out any problems," he added.
According to Yu more than 40 sports events will be held in Beijing in the lead-up to the 2008 Games.
The 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships takes place from August 15 to 20 at the Chaoyang Sports Park, while the 2006 ISF Softball Championships runs from August 27 to September 5 at Fengtai Softball Field the same place the event will be held during the 2008 Games.
In order to provide efficient service at the two events, all the security staff have already received training on subjects as diverse as Olympic knowledge, foreign languages, anti-terrorism and how to deal with the media.
"All preparations for the events' openings have already been made. Our next step will be to develop specialised training for particular aspects of our work," said Cao Dongxiang, vice-director of the public order management unit of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.
"By running combat exercises with live ammunition, we hope all security staff will become familiar with their positions and tasks."
The two tournaments will be the first large scale events to have volunteers involved in security work.
"The volunteers will be an important part of our work," Cao said. "Since they are regular people tourists will feel more comfortable talking to them.
"The volunteers will carry out auxiliary tasks, like helping spectators find their seats and checking tickets."
According to officials the volunteers are students from the Capital University of Economics and Business.
Source: China Daily