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Huge columns installed at 2012 stadium site

/ Source: Associated Press Sports

Construction work on London's Olympic Stadium has continued with the installation of more than 100 huge columns to support what will be the podium of the west and south stands.

The columns are each more than 5 meters (16 feet, 5 inches) high and will also form the lower ground floor of the west stand, which contains the changing rooms and facilities including doping control and treatment rooms.

More than 3,500 of 4,000 concrete piles have also been fitted, organizers said Tuesday, meaning that work on the foundations is almost complete. The foundations are expected to be complete in September.

"As the eyes of the world turn from Beijing to London, they will see that real progress is being made to create the new venues and infrastructure for the 2012 Games,'' Olympic Delivery Authority chairman John Armitt said.

"The Olympic Stadium is already beginning to rise out of the ground and, over the coming months, we will begin to see the size and scale of this flagship venue.''

The announcement comes two days after London held a huge party in front of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the handover of the Olympic flag at the close of the Beijing Games.

Work on the stadium had already started three months ahead of schedule this year, with construction of the lower-tier seating and pedestrian bridges beginning earlier this month.