The National Aquatic Center, known as the Water Cube, is going
to be tried for the first time in a test event on Thursday.
As part of the Good Luck Beijing test events, the China Open
swimming championships will show the Water Cube to the world and
allow the facilities to be tested.
Li Aiqing, is president of the organizing committee for the
"We need this test event; through the event, the stadium's
equipment and facilities can be fully tested."
More than 230 swimmers from 36 countries will participate in the
China Open, but because it's a test event, there will not be any
world-class swimmers taking part. Swimming powerhouses like the
United States and Australia will only send observers to the
The Water Cube was ready for use on Monday after four years of
construction. With a seating capacity of 17,000, it will host
swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming competitions during
this summer's Olympics.
It is the only Olympic venue that is financed by China's Hong
Kong, Macao and Taiwan compatriots.
(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)