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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 07:37 GMT
City arena becomes swimming venue
Swimming Pool artist's impression
Construction is expected to take about 18 days
Work to transform Manchester's concert arena into an international swimming venue is getting under way.

Engineers have less than one month to construct two 25m pools ahead of the FINA world short course swimming championships.

It will be the time the event has been held in Britain when it starts at the 20,000 seat arena on 9 April.

Organisers say the championship is the biggest swimming event to take place ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

The championships are expected to attract 650 swimmers from 120 countries and thousands of spectators.

Event 'razzmatazz'

Olympic medallist Steve Parry, one of the public faces of the event, said the competition would befit the venue.

He told the BBC: "The different thing about the world short course in Manchester is you are just going to see a lot more razzmatazz.

"It is going to be a lot more like a concert, after all it's in a concert venue. Lights, music, action, even the way athletes are coming in to the venue is going to be different from the usual."

Completion of the venue is expected within 18 days. Tickets are now on sale for the five-day event.



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Pool construction begins at the MEN Arena



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