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London 2012 Olympic test event schedule unveiled

Beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade
Beach volleyball will be staged at Horse Guards Parade

The major test events to be held at London 2012 venues such as Horse Guards Parade and Lord's Cricket Ground have been revealed by organisers.

Beach volleyball will take place at Horse Guards Parade this August with archery at Lord's in October as preparations intensify.

The 2011 badminton World Championships at Wembley and a men's football qualifier in Coventry also feature.

Some events will be for officials only but others will be open to spectators.

The London 2012 Organising Committee said it wanted fans to be able to experience events in the Olympic venues before the Games begin.

No test events are planned for the main stadium, aquatics centre and velodrome until next year.

In May 2012, the best student athletes will be given the chance to test out the Olympic Stadium in Stratford when the British Universities and Colleges Sport Championships are held at the centrepiece venue.

In the same month, the London Disability Grand Prix will be the first opportunity for Paralympic athletes to compete in the stadium.

Three-day eventing, 4-6 July 2011, Greenwich Park
Triathlon World Championship Series, 6-7 August, Hyde Park
International basketball, 16-21 August, Olympic Park
Cycling World Cup Classic, 17-19 February 2012, Velodrome (pictured)
FINA Diving World Cup, 20-26 February, Aquatics Centre
British Swimming Championships, 3-10 March, Aquatics Centre

LOCOG director of sport Debbie Jevans said: "To have competitive sport which will allow us to test all our officials and the venues themselves will be good for us.

"But for the spectators themselves, having the chance to be in the stadium where the world's greatest athletes will be competing will be an amazing experience.

Jevans said the student athletics event would be "inspirational for the young athletes that take part".

"You heard Chris Hoy last week talking about how inspirational it was just being in the Velodrome," she added.

"To have our young athletes in the Olympic Stadium knowing what they can be aiming for can only be a good thing."

Some British athletes had hoped Team GB trials could be held in the Stratford stadium, but LOCOG and UK Athletics could not agree a timetable.

The mixture of specially created invitational competitions and scheduled tournaments and championships will be used to test the operation of venues and iron out problems at the facilities.

British students to test Olympic Stadium

"Our approach to operational delivery is similar to that of an athlete," said LOCOG chairman Lord Coe.

"You do not want to face any conditions at competition time that you have not prepared for.

"The invaluable experience we gain through our testing programme means we can road test all our operational plans and make sure we have all the knowledge we need to deliver a truly memorable Games in 2012."

The programme begins with an invitational marathon on London's streets on 30 May - a little over a month after the London Marathon on 17 April.

The race will not cover the whole of the proposed Olympic course but instead test the the series of loops that make up the route.

The Badminton World Championships will be the sport's test event at Wembley Arena in August while the North Greenwich Arena will host a gymnastics Olympic qualifier next January.

The London ExCel Arena will hold test events for boxing, table tennis, wrestling, weightlifting, judo and taekwondo in late November and early December this year.

The date of April 2012's football qualifier at Coventry's Ricoh Arena, one of six grounds to be used for the Games' matches, is still to be confirmed. Meanwhile, the shooting World Cup has been set for 18-29 April, 2012 at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich.

The Games officially open on 27 July, 2012.

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see also
Stadium will not stage GB trials
24 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Olympic stadium seats plan backed
13 Feb 11 |  London
Olympic cycling route is revealed
10 Feb 11 |  London
Beach volleyball event for London
17 Dec 10 |  Volleyball
Hoy does first lap of 2012 velodrome
27 Jul 10 |  London 2012
Olympics 2012 venue guide
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Daley seventh as Mitcham triumphs
23 Aug 08 |  Diving
Reade crashes out of BMX medals
22 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Hoy clinches historic third gold
19 Aug 08 |  Cycling

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