Olympic Stadium track used for first time



03 Oct 2011
Top British athletes witnessed the unveiling of the track in the Olympic Stadium today as London 2012 celebrated another milestone on the Olympic Park.
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School children from West Ham Church Primary School in the Host Borough of Newham raced alongside some of Britain's best athletes on the brand new track.
World record holder and Paralympic gold medallist Dan Greaves, British long jump record holder Chris Tomlinson and IAAF World Championships silver medallist Hannah England were the first athletes to take to the track.
London 2012 Organising Committee Chairman Seb Coe said: 'Today marks a huge milestone for the project, as the Olympic Stadium starts to come to life and people get a glimpse of how it will look in less than ten months' time when we welcome the world's athletes to London.
'Although there is still a lot of work to do on the Stadium, seeing some of our top British athletes on the track with local school children really underlines the Stadium’s potential for 2012 and beyond.'
The track, made of a prefabricated material manufactured in Italy by Mondo, will provide a fast surface for athletes during London 2012. The same surface has also been used for the 80m warm-up sprint straight under one of the main stands, while a 400m training track near the Stadium will be laid shortly.
John Armitt, Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman, said: 'Watching athletes and children run around the Olympic Stadium’s track ten months before the London 2012 Games highlights just how much has been achieved over the last four years. The Olympic Stadium will be a stunning centre piece of the Games and a fitting theatre for sporting action and the Ceremonies.'
The track will shortly be covered to protect it while the Stadium continues its overlay installation.
The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) today unveiled the Hockey Centre’s first blue and pink pitch, and also revealed that a yellow ball will be used during an Olympic Hockey competition for the first time.
Hockey Centre pitch
Kerry Williams, Ashleigh Ball, Laura Bartlett and Georgie Twigg of the GB Hockey Team test the new pitch.
Based on the Olympic Park, the Hockey Centre will stage Olympic Hockey and the Paralympic 5-a-side and 7-a-side Football competitions, hosting over 780,000 spectators in the process.
To reflect the colours of the Games, the playing field area will be London Blue in colour - providing high levels of contrast with the yellow ball - and the pitch surrounds coloured London Pink.
David Luckes, Head of Sport Competition at LOCOG, said: 'We are delighted with how the main pitch at the Hockey Centre looks. The blue and pink pitch combined with the yellow ball will not only make following the ball easier, it also has a fantastic London 2012 feel.
'The player feedback has been excellent and we will continue to work together to ensure the pitches are perfect for the Games next year.'
London 2012 will be the first time both Olympic Hockey and Paralympic Football are played on a different colour pitch to the traditional green.
Alex Danson, from the Great Britain women’s hockey squad, said: 'Coming in to the Olympic Park makes everything very real and the excitement is really building within the squad. The pitch is great to play on; it's really quick and true, and enables us to play with confidence'.
Designed by Populous, the complex includes two pitches, one for competition and one for warm up. The main competition pitch is now complete and will be used for Hockey and 7-a-side Football
The warm-up pitch, which doubles up as the 5-a-side Football competition pitch, is due to be completed in early November.