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Rehearsals complete ahead of Olympics

London Olympics organisers say dress rehearsals have been successfully completed.

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Sport

LONDON - With 79 days left until the torch is lit at the London Olympics, organisers said on Wednesday that an exhaustive series of dress rehearsals had been successfully completed.

The year-long London Prepares series featured 42 test events spread across the 28 permanent and temporary venues that will stage the capital's first Olympics since 1948.

A final batch of testing took place in the main Olympic Park over the past week, culminating in the first competitive athletics action inside the 500 million pounds showpiece stadium that will host the opening ceremony on July 27.

Around 350,000 spectators watched the test events, the highlights of which were a sell-out World Cup track cycling event at the Velodrome and the British Swimming Trials at the eye-catching Aquatics Centre in east London.

"We set out to run events which would test the venues, the sporting field of play and our workforce while at the same time allowing members of the public to enjoy world class sport in an Olympic setting," organising committee chairman Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

"We have done just this and all these events, without exception, have gone well. Of course there will be some lessons learned from each event but we have not had to make any major changes to any of our venues or our plans.

"We are in great shape and on course to stage the world's greatest sporting event," added Coe.

The overwhelming reaction to the facilities was positive although there were a few issues that cropped up.

Alterations are being made to the BMX jumps after some competitors complained they were too tough.

The bright blue hockey pitch also came in for some criticism last week during a test event, with the Australian team worried the surface was too slippery.

Spectators were also faced with lengthy queues to get into venues as organisers tested out the airport-type security that will be a feature of the Games.

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