Badminton venue could be ‘best ever,’ says top official

A senior official with the International Badminton Federation praised the venue that will be used during the Olympics and said yesterday that it could be the «best ever» facility used for the sport. «We believe that when construction is complete, the Goudi Olympic Hall has the potential to be the best ever venue for badminton at an Olympic Games,» said Andrew Ryan, chief operating officer of the federation. The badminton federation and Athens organizers hosted a pre-Olympics test event last week at the 5,500-seat badminton arena in eastern Athens. It was staged to test the organization and logistics necessary to operate the venue during the Aug. 13-29 Games. «There are still some major technical aspects of the venue we need to install and test, such as the air-conditioning system and the Games-time lighting,» Ryan said. He added that organizers and federation officials will test these areas when construction is complete at the end of April. «When these facilities are in place, badminton can look forward to a superb setting when the Olympic Games return ‘home’ in just over six months time,» Ryan said. (AP)