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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:52, November 24, 2006
Beijing suburbs to have state-of-the-art water sports venue
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An advanced Olympic water sports venue is being built up in Beijing's northeastern suburbs, where as many as 32 gold medals will be up for grabs at the Beijing 2008 Games.

As one of the main venues for the Beijing Olympics, the Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park located in the city's northeastern Shunyi District covers 31,850 square metres and boasts a seating capacity of 37,000. During the 2008 Games this venue, which is 36 kilometres away from the Olympic Village, will host 32 gold medal events including marathon swimming rowing, canoeing and kayaking.

It will be the third largest "gold medal pool," following the National Stadium and the National Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Central area.

Construction of the park, the first venue in the world that has both a flat-water area and a competition course for slalom, started in July 2005.

"The park is the most advanced rowing and canoeing venue in the world at present," said Zhang Lei, general manager of Beijing Olympic Aquatic Park Co, Ltd.

"The combination of the flat water area and the slalom area will help a lot in the post-Games use of the venue."

According to officials from the venue management committee, the park will become the largest water sports and recreation centre in Beijing's rural area.

"The design and construction of the park is based on the principle of serving the competitions at the Games and assisting the people afterwards," said Zhang Xiangdong, vice-director of Beijing Shunyi Olympic Venues Management Committee.

"After the Games, it will be used for competitions, training, recreation and fitness to become the largest holiday resort in northeastern Beijing. It will leave a valuable legacy to the people of Beijing."

After the completion of the park, the water surface area will reach nearly 600,000 square metres, said Zhang.

"Together with the construction of the Chaobai River Forestry Park and the renovation of the Chaobai River, a huge natural 'oxygen bar' will be formed in Shunyi and the Olympic venue will be surrounded by the forestry park," he added.

As an important milestone of the project's construction, the water reservoir of the park became operational on October 31 this year. A total of 1.7 million cubic metres' water will be poured into the course to test the operation of the whole project, such as water recycling system, water pumping system and the competition courses.

"We have calculated the most economical amount of water that is required for the competition and the recycling system will also help to save water," said Zhang Lei. "We could say that it is the venue where the 'Green Olympics' concept is most widely used."

The whole project is scheduled to be completed in next April and will face three test events next August the Canoe-Slalom China Open, the Canoe-Sprint China Open and the Rowing World Junior Championships.

Besides constructing the venue, Shunyi District also considers the Olympics to be a good opportunity for its development. In order to build up an appealing environment for the Olympic Games, Shunyi is also taking efforts to improve its infrastructure.

In order to make it more convenient for the spectators to watch the competitions, a new road is being built between Beijing and Shunyi. During the 2008 Games, it will take only 30 minutes for people to go from central Beijing to the Shunyi venue, instead of more than one hour at present.

A total of 26 road-building projects are underway in Shunyi this year.

"To further improve the environment, the district government also encourages citizens make suggestions," said Zhang Xiangdong.

"So far, nearly 1,000 ideas about how to improve the environment have been sent to the Shunyi 2008 Environment Construction Headquarters."

To better serve the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, local people working in the service sector started to take Olympic training courses three years ago, such as sign language, basic English and reception etiquette.

Over 150,000 people have already received such training.

Source: China Daily

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