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Beijing opens the Water Cube

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The National Aquatic Centre in Beijing

Beijing's Olympic swimming pool, dubbed the Water Cube, has finally been unveiled.

The 72m structure opened its doors for a test event on Thursday and while world swimming powers, the United States and Australia, only sent observation delegations, Germany, Japan and the hosts China were among the teams competing.

The schedule being used mirrors the one proposed for the Games in August with the finals held in the mornings and heats in the evenings to suit American TV schedules.

It is a reversal of the usual format of heats in the morning and finals in the evenings.

And while this decision has caused some controversy, Germany's Germany's Steffen Britta, who won the women's 100 metres freestyle race, is fine with the move.

"I can only speak for me and for me it is not a problem to swim in the morning so I have no fear to swim in August in the morning," she said.

Meanwhile, some people feel the high ceiling, which has reminded many of bubble wrap, may pose a potential problem for backstrokers, who often use the ceiling for orientating themselves.

What do you make of the swimming venue? It's certainly an unusual design, but does it impress you? And are you happy with changing the schedule around?



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posted Feb 3, 2008

as a swimmer, i would find swimming with a high roof hard, but these guys are pros so lets hope they can handle it! With the standard of swimming they have, it shouldnt really be a problem for these guys, and if it is then they may be ble to find a way around it

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posted Feb 8, 2008

"as a swimmer, i would find swimming with a high roof hard"

Another WUM!

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comment by U9563463

posted Feb 8, 2008

'Meanwhile, some people feel the high ceiling, which has reminded many of bubble wrap, may pose a potential problem for backstrokers, who often use the ceiling for orientating themselves.'

Well get them to put bubblerap on their googles when they practise. Der!

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posted Feb 8, 2008

"'Meanwhile, some people feel the high ceiling, which has reminded many of bubble wrap, may pose a potential problem for backstrokers, who often use the ceiling for orientating themselves.'"

Why not just practice swimming in a straight line? That way you can't go wrong!

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comment by GXToms (U7554563)

posted Feb 15, 2008

The high ceiling should not be a problem. The problem for backstrokers is the pattern of the ceiling. Many pools, like ponds forge at sheffield, the one at Manchester, and my local 50m pool Crystal Palace, all have a panel type ceiling, or a least a series of lights in a straight line, so its easy to follow. Even on front crawl, the majority of swimmers use the pool tiles as a guide. The visual line helps with mental perception. Id like to see a 100m athletis race run without any lane lines.

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posted Mar 11, 2008

"Id like to see a 100m athletis race run without any lane lines."

so they're not having lane ropes either? WOW!!!
i dont really see the comparison there!!

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