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Lynn Davies delighted at Olympic opener in Cardiff


Cardiff opener delights Davies

UK Athletics president Lynn Davies has welcomed the decision to host the first action of the 2012 Olympic Games at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The women's football tournament is set to start two days before the opening ceremony on 27 July.

"It's fantastic news for Cardiff and for Wales to think that we're staging effectively the first event of the 2012 Olympic Games," said Davies.

"It's great for the city of Cardiff which really is a city of sport."

The first match will be held at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday, July 25 at 1600 BST with other women's matches taking place later that day at Coventry's Ricoh Arena and Glasgow's Hampden Park.

The men's football tournament will start a day later.

Manchester United's Old Trafford and St James' Park in Newcastle will also play host to football during the Games, as well as Wembley which will host the finals.

"I understand women's football is one of our fastest growing sports," said Welshman Davies, who won gold in the long jump at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

"To play in front of a crowd at the Olympic Games in Wales in the Millennium Stadium must be a fantastic motivation for everyone involved.

"In the last 10 years Cardiff has staged the FA Cup final five or six times, we've had the great Ashes Test the year before last against Australia, and now we're looking at staging an Olympic event - the very first."

And Davies, who hails from Nant-y-moel, near Bridgend, says it will be a "privilege and an honour" to be present when the Olympics kicks off in Cardiff.

"I'm very lucky in this stage in life, almost 50 years on from those [Tokyo] Games, to still be involved as President of UK Athletics and closely involved in the preparation of our team up to 2012," he said.

"I'm hopefully keeping my fingers crossed sitting there and hoping that we win a couple of those very, very precious gold medals because for the home crowd, that will be a fantastic occasion.

"It would really put the icing on the cake. Home Olympic Games and British athletes winning Olympic gold medals will be fantastic."

Great Britain's first medals of the games could come on the opening weekend, with the high profile men's cycling road race scheduled for Saturday, 28 July, and the women's race on the Sunday, where Welsh cyclist Nicole Cooke will be hoping to retain her title.

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see also
2012 Olympics schedule revealed
15 Feb 11 |  London 2012

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