TIANJIN, North China -- Over 20 nations or regions have sent delegations by now to Tianjin, where the 14th World Water Polo Championships are going on, to review the modern city, locating a place for Beijing Olympic Games' preparations and warm-ups. "Tianjin city has an a favorable geographical position and is only about 100 kilometers southeast to Beijing. It has a similar climate and environment to Beijing, and it is a god-bestowed warm-up place for Beijing Olympics for overseas teams", said Gianni Lonzi, the chairman of FINA water polo technical committee, who is here overseeing the ongoing Championships.
"Tianjin is the path to Beijing Olympic Games, which is a backyard to ease Beijing's pressure in taking in large groups of athletes and delegations from all over the world before and during the 2008 Olympics," said Duan Shijie, vice president of China Sports General Administration.
"Tianjin is regarded as a top option for its comprehensive training bases, modernized stadiums, good hotels, convenient transportation and organizing experience" added Duan.
"Tianjin had hosted many world championships like table tennis and gymnastics, so Tianjin residents loves sports and know how to enjoy sports and Tianjin is developing into a sports city in China."
According to Han Zhenduo, president of Tianjin municipal sports bureau, Tianjin can accommodate the training and competition of more than 30 disciplines at one time. China Sports General Administration has set up a few training bases here for national teams like diving, weightlifting, women's water polo, judo and trampolin.
The construction of Tianjin Olympic Sports Center is underway, which has cost 1.5 billion RMB (188 million US dollars), consisting of a football stadium, a training base, an aquatic center and an international exchange center.
So far, Russia, Britain, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Norway, Australia and Mongolia intend to send their athletes to Tianjin for Olympic preparations.