Olympics: 2012 stadium to get student examination

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The Independent Online

The London Olympic Stadium will get its first dry run two months before the Games begin with the British student championships, 2012 organisers have announced.

Games chiefs released a programme of test events for the Olympic venues, with the centrepiece stadium due to host the British Universities and Colleges Sport Championships (BUCS) from May 4-7, 2012.

"You do not want to face any conditions at competition time that you have not prepared for," 2012 Games chief Sebastian Coe said on Friday.

"When the world's greatest Olympic and Paralympic athletes come to London in the summer of 2012, every aspect of our delivery needs to be the best it can be.

"The invaluable experience we gain through our testing programme means we can 'road-test' all our operational plans and make sure we have all the knowledge we need to deliver a truly memorable Games in 2012."

The BUCS are normally held in the comparatively tiny athletics ground in Bedford, north of the capital, but will now be staged in the 80,000-seater stadium in Stratford, east London.

The testing programme is focused primarily on trying out the field of play, results, scoring and timing systems.

It includes international invitational events and competitions organised by the sports' federations.

Many of the 40-plus events will be open to the public.

The competitions include the world rowing junior championships at the Eton Dorney venue, the Badminton world championships at Wembley Arena, the gymnastics Olympic qualifiers at the North Greenwich Arena and the diving world cup at the aquatics centre.

The first official test events take place on May 30 this year, with an invitational marathon and a 20-kilometre walking race on the London streets.

The 2012 Olympics will run from July 27 till August 12, with the Paralympics to follow.