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Beijing starts construction on National Gymnasium
Updated: 2005-05-29 21:24

Beijing started on Saturday construction on the National Gymnasium that will host artistic gymnastics and handball competitions during the 2008 Olympic Games.

The National Gymnasium is the sixth new competition venue, after the National Stadium, the National Swimming Center, the Beijing Shooting Range, the Laoshan Velodrome and the Wukesong Gymnasium, to be built in the Chinese capital for the 2008 Olympics.

The National Gymnasium, located in the projected Olympic Green in north Beijing, covers a floor area of 68,700 square meters and will have an 18,000-seat capacity upon its completion by the end of 2007.

The National Gymnasium, which resembles a traditional Chinese folding fan, will be turned into a fitness and recreational center for Beijing's citizens.

According to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG), a total of 36 competition venues will be used for the 2008 Olympics, 14 of which will be built from scratch. Construction on nine has already started and the rest will begin this year.

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