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Tianjin Eyes Beijing Example in Co-hosting 2008 Olympics
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Tianjin, the venue for football preliminaries of the 2008 Olympics, has aimed to deliver the competition as well as the main host city Beijing.

Construction on the 80,000-capacity Olympic stadium for the football event will be completed at the end of this year, but Tianjin local organisers said that their preparatory work will go beyond that.

"It is not nearly enough to only build a stadium meeting the competition requirements. We will also work hard in competition organisation and services delivery," said Xie Delong, vice chief of Tianjin sports administrative bureau.

"We will follow the example set by Beijing, working to high standards and strict requirements," he added.

The local organising committee, which was set up in April 2005, signed an agreement with the Beijing organising committee three months later, which officially confirmed Tianjin's status of being one of the co-host cities for the Games. Shanghai, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang and Hong Kong are the other five co-host cities.

"Under the agreement, we must meet the requirements in as many as 13 fields, including venue, competition and medical service, so that we can host successfully the Olympic football events.

Tianjin was chosen to host some of the football preliminaries, partly because the city had amassed plenty of experiences in hosting major events such as world gymnastics championship, world table tennis championships and Asian men's volleyball championship.

The ongoing women's water polo World Cup and the pending Asian Cup football qualifiers will be also warm-ups for the Olympic events.

"We will take advantage of the major events to warm up for the Olympics, trying to improve our organisation," said Xie.

"The events will also provide us a platform to communicate with the national and international sports federations.

Tianjin will next launch the recruitment of volunteers for the football competition.

"During the Olympics, people will see volunteers not only at the stadia, but also shopping centers and railway stations and so on," said Xie.

"They will be everywhere all the time," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2006)

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