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Beijing puts final touches on Olympic preparation
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Organizers of the Beijing Olympics are putting the final touches to preparations as the countdown to the Aug. 8-24 Games is at the 10-day mark.

"What we need to do in the next few days is to improve our work to perfection," said Yang Binyuan, an official of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG).

Some 5,000 Olympics-accredited people have so far arrived in Beijing, but Beijing's hazy sky in recent days has become a concern to many.

Du Shaozhong, vice director of Beijing municipal environmental protection bureau, said both pollutants and weather conditions reduced the visibility.

Du promised to take "tougher" control measures to guarantee the air quality. "We are on the right track of air quality control," he said.

Olympic tickets for events in the capital city have completely sold out, the BOCOG said. "Only tickets for the competitions in co-host cities are still available."

Three more dress rehearsals of the opening ceremony are expected to be held before its official presentation on the night of Aug. 8.

"Now we are working around the clock, and we hope to please all, " said a member of the ceremony's directors team.

While the content of the opening ceremony on Aug. 8 is a closely guarded secret, organizers have mobilized all its scientific and engineering capability, including satellite monitoring and cloud seeding, to prevent rains from spoiling the spectacle.

The organizers are also preparing to entertain millions of visitors from home and abroad during the Olympics with about 40 international and 150 domestic exhibitions of arts, artifacts, painting, photography, sculpture, murals and non-material heritage.

Nearly 20,000 artists from more than 80 countries and regions will feature in 600-plus performances, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Chinese Taipei.

The main Olympic venues subway line also put into force on Monday, but only people holding tickets for Olympic and Paralympic events are allowed to use the 5km route before September 20.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2008)

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