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Shanghai to host world championships

A brand new sports center is coming up on the banks of Huangpu River which will stage the FINA World Championships next year, organizers announced yesterday.

The Oriental Sports Center is currently under construction in the Pudong New Area and should be ready by the end of the year to host the aquatic event from July 16 to July 31 next year, said Chen Yiping, deputy director of Shanghai Sports Bureau.

Chen said it would be the biggest sporting event ever to be held in the city with the outdoor diving competition to be one of the major attractions of the event, Chen said.

"We hope to turn this international event into a water sports carnival," Chen told reporters yesterday.

Swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo will also be a feature in the event.

The total number of competitors and officials coming to the event from as many as 180 countries could surpass 5,000, Chen said.

To mark the one-year countdown to the event, the official website of the 2011 FINA World Championships Shanghai will be launched today. The Shanghai Sports Bureau claimed that as many as 8 to 10 million local residents take to the pool every year, which is why the city decided to host this international swimming event.