Building work at the £486 million Olympic Stadium was completed today.
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe watched as Frankie Fredericks, a four-time Olympic silver medallist and the 1993 200m world champion, laid the last piece of turf on the infield.
It marked the start of the handover of the venue to the London 2012 committee, leaving Lord Coe, himself a two-time Olympic champion, to note: "I do not want anybody to run away with the idea that this stadium is ready to stage a track-and-field championship tomorrow.
"But as a chairman of an organising committee to be able to tick off this venue is terrific.
"It is fantastic. I think it will be an intimate theatre for sport and it has fantastic legacy potential too."
Namibian-born Fredericks, in London for the International Olympic Committee's three-day inspection of the preparations for 2012, said British athletes are in for a treat.
He said: "Just walking in, the sheer magnitude of the stadium hits you, if you are from a small country. Then, if you have 80,000 people and you are from GB, it is going to be a big welcome.
"When in here and people start cheering, I think the British athletes will find a wonderful atmosphere."
Finishing the building work at the showpiece Olympic Stadium, which began in May 2008, is a "huge milestone" for the £9.3 billion Olympic project particularly as it comes with an "exemplary safety record", according to the Olympic Delivery Authority which is in charge of the build and infrastructure.
Authority chairman John Armitt said: "The Olympic Stadium has been finished on time and under budget.
"To complete a complicated project such as this in less than three years is testament to the skill and professionalism of the UK construction industry."
Rod Sheard, of stadium architects Populous, said he was looking forward to watching "this innovative design perform for the first time".
He added: "In the world of major construction it could be considered a sprint. Its completion marks the beginning of the end of the construction phase of London's Olympic Games."Reuse content