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Beach volleyball Olympians highly praise venue in Beijing
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Beach volleyball Olympians training in Beijing on Saturday spoke highly of the newly built competition venue in the Chaoyang Park, the biggest park in the planned Central Business District in eastern Beijing.

"The venue is excellent," said German women player Okka Rau, who was taking photos of the venue from different angles.

"The air in the park is clean, the sky is blue, the organization is good," she told Xinhua.

Swiss men player Patrick Heuscher also said he liked the venue they are to play in at the upcoming Beijing Games.

"I feel great on the sand. The thickness is fine, " said the player, who has practised in the venue for several days.

A total of 48 men and women teams are to play at the Olympics. Many of them have begun to practise in the beach volleyball venue.

The 12,000-seat main venue, built on the site of former Beijing Gas Appliances Factory, is located in the green. The picturesque scene is beautified with a big lake lying near the venue.

The original vegetation was preserved in the construction of the venue and new trees and other vegetation was planted around the competition site.

The sand in the venue also has a unique story.

A total of 17,000 tons of fine beach sand was transported from the southern China's Hainan Province, an Island province with long and fine sand beaches.

The main venue, two warm-up courts and six training courts are all equipped with the carefully-filtered sand.

The International Volleyball Federation has strict regulations on the quality of the sand as the form, size, color and other characters must meet the standards.

"I have played in many venues, the sand here is the best," said Rau.

(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2008)

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