Friday, May 30, 2008

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

The Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open event at Beijing's National Stadium took place last Thursday 22 - Sunday 25 May.

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

The competition was a trial run for this summer's Olympic Games and involved over 900 athletes competing in 42 Olympic and 4 Paralympic events.

The stadium and atmosphere were praised by British athlete David Weir who won the 5,000 meter wheelchair race: "The crowd was great....there was a brilliant atmosphere."

Thousands of people have flocked to the morning and evening events to enjoy the spectacle of watching world record holders compete in their chosen sports. Many have also attended to simply experience the amazing new National Stadium (Bird's Nest) sports venue.

On Friday night the 50,000 or so spectators were treated to seeing the great Liu Xiang, current world record holder of the Men's Open 110m Hurdles compete against other aspiring athletes. The crowd was not disappointed as Liu Xiang both acknowledged the standing ovation he received as he entered the stadium and then competed in his unique fleet footed style, flying over the hurdles like they didn't exist. One couldn't help but feel elated at his magnificent win and privileged to there to witness the event.

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

As organizers prepare the incredible and fascinating venue for the Olympics and become familiar with procedures and protocols they have to be congratulated on their preparations and the smooth way in which they were able to host the enthusiastic crowd last night.

However in their excitement to see Liu Xiang, the crowd rose expectantly and excitedly to their feet to welcome him into the stadium and show their support. This caused many anxious guards to rush in concern and control the crowd as they shouted commands for all to sit down.

Naturally, the well meaning spectators quickly sat down to avoid any conflict with the anxious guards. It does however make one wonder how both guards and crowds from many cultures will relate in an even more excited situation during Olympic contests.

Knowing how much work has gone into the event and preparations to provide the best Olympic venues it is highly likely we will see this sort of situation overcome with a little more training of the security guards. No doubt they will be helped to recognize the difference between excited support, interest and enthusiasm and crowd rioting.

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

Spectators were treated to a wide selection of athletic events including hurdles, women's heptathlon, javelin, high jump, shot put, long jump, 100m sprints, 400m, 800m and 1500m.

Facilities at the stadium catered well for the crowd with ample assistants to guide people to their seats, food & drink outlets charging very fair prices (prices paid at any local street food and drink outlet), good views of events, and many clean and spacious bathroom facilities.

If you are attending the Olympic Games be aware that you will not be permitted to take drinks and camera tripods through security.

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