Schedule full of Olympic test events

Athens 2004, the organizing committee of the Olympic Games, announced yesterday that it plans to stage 39 pre-Olympic test events covering the full range of Olympic sports within a 10-month period, beginning next August. Many of these events are expected to attract top-class international competition. The series of test events will be launched with the World Junior Rowing Championships at Schinias between August 5 and 10, 2003, and end with the National Track and Field Championships, at Athens’s Olympic Stadium, on June 11-13, 2004, two months before the Olympics. Areas to be tested include facility management, sports facility standards, technology, and volunteerism. Approximately 15,000 volunteers are expected to take part. Among the 39 test events, 10 of which will take place in August 2003, seven will be World Championship (or Cup) events, one will be a European championship, while the program also includes four national championships. So far one, successful, test event has been staged, the Athens 2002 Regatta, on August 16-24.