No bikinis on Tiananmen Square

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The Independent Online

Volleyballs, sand and bikinis will not appear on Tiananmen Square at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after all, despite the Chinese capital's promise that it would hold beach volleyball events at the political heart of the city. Hundreds were killed in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 when the army crushed a pro-democracy protest.

Volleyballs, sand and bikinis will not appear on Tiananmen Square at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after all, despite the Chinese capital's promise that it would hold beach volleyball events at the political heart of the city. Hundreds were killed in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 when the army crushed a pro-democracy protest.

Olympic organisers proposed beach volleyball at the square while bidding for the Games in 2000, but later changed their minds. No official announcement on the venue has been made, but a source from the organising committee said the matches would be staged at Beijing's Chaoyang Park, a popular picnic site east of the main Games site, the Olympic Green.

"We think this site is especially suited for the beach volleyball event," a Chinese Olympic spokesman said.

Beijing has scaled back some of the plans it presented during the bidding stages and has cut budgets for venues such as the "bird's nest" stadium, which will hold track and field events.

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