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'Bird's Nest' in full capacity on first day of track and field competition
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The National Stadium, or the "Bird's Nest" saw a capacity crowd of over 90,000 on the first competition day of track and field at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Most of the fans are Chinese, rushing to feel the Olympic atmosphere and have a glimpse of their favourite stars.

Although China is not traditionally strong in track and field, the 91,000-seated stadium, where the events are held, saw no vacancy on Friday.

Two final events including men's shot put, and women's 10,000 meters will be held at the National Stadium on Friday evening. The world's elite sprinters including Jamaican Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and the American Tyson Gay also made their Olympic debut.

Wang Xinliang, an athletics fan, said he has always wanted to see the track and field competition at Olympics though China is not the gold medal favourite in many events.

"I just enjoy watching sprinters dashing on the lanes. It is a great fun," said the 45-year-old Beijing native. He said he was very sad after he found the men's 100 meters final tickets was sold out.

Li Yun, another Beijing local who paid double price on the ticket told reporter that she came here to see Tyson Gay, her favourite sprinter. "Olympics is the top-level international sports event, which offered me a good chance to see top stars in the world. I do not care whether there are Chinese athletes involved or not. "

"The women's 10,000 meters final will involve two Chinese players. I expect them to make good performance," said Li.

For He Weihong, from the southern China's Guangdong Province, the "Bird's Nest" journey means not only a sports experience, but also a chance to feel the Olympic atmosphere.

"In my eyes, Bird's Nest is the symbol of the Beijing Olympics. It is the best place to feel the Olymipics. Besides, Chinese athletes also need our support. That's also the reason why I am here," he said.

As the core venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the "Bird's Nest" is located in the Olympic Green and covered an area of 258,000 square meters. Besides the athletics and soccer finals, the opening and closing ceremonies are also held at the "Bird's Nest".

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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