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Zaha Hadid's Aquatic Centre in local swimming gala

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Zaha Hadid’s Olympic Swimming Pool opened its doors on Sunday, 14th of March to teenage swimmers and nearly 1,000 spectators

The centrepiece to the 2012 Olympic Games was open for a test event: the Six Host Borough Swimming Championships 2012.

Around 1,000 spectators watched the teenager swimmers compete in the 17,500 spectator’s capacity swimming venue.

From the stands looking up, the seam where the temporary seating joins the main building was clearly visible. These temporary stands at either side of the pool will be taken down after the games, when the stands will have capacity for 2,000 expectators.

The large, tilted sliding doors were spectacular. The practice pool is hidden under the entrance bridge to the Olympic park.

The pools seem to have no stairs at first sight, but steps are into the walls of the pool to create a clean and flowing flat surface that was only interrupted by the boys and girls diving into the pool.

One of the boys, representing the ‘Barking and Dageham’ team, said it was ‘great to be here and watch Liam Tancock swim,’ (the Great Britain medal hopeful and world record holder for 50m Backstroke) ‘it is a great inspiration for us, hopefully one day I’ll be as good, and maybe we can look up to compete in the Olympics’.

After the games, around 90% of the pool’s use will be for local communities with the cost of swimming the same as the average price to swim in a pool in the surrounding area.

The competition was organised by the Olympic Park Legacy Company and GLL.

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