Beijing's "bird's nest" stadium to open in April

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BEIJING, Nov 8 (Reuters) The main stadium for next year's Beijing Olympic Games, the 400 million dollar ''bird's nest'', will open to the public for the first time in April to host a test event, a state newspaper said today.

The National Stadium, nick-named the bird's nest after the way the steel beams interlace, is expected to be the last Beijing Olympic venue to be completed. The rest will be finished by the end of this year.

The stadium would get its first taste of action at April's International Association of Athletics Federations' Race Walking Challenge, the Beijing Daily said, citing vice-mayor Liu Jingmin.

It would then host the 2008 China Athletics Open in May.

''These two events will be the first and the last times before the Olympics that the bird's nest will be open to the public,'' the report said.

The stadium is scheduled to open in March.

REUTERS AB SSC1020

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