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Work completed on basketball arena for London 2012

Construction of the 12,000-seat basketball arena for the 2012 Olympics in London has been completed.

The stadium became the fourth venue at the Olympic Park to be finished, on budget and in time for the first event to be held in August. It was completed in 15 months.

"As ... one of the quickest to finish construction, the Basketball Arena is another milestone for the Olympic Park 'Big Build,'" said Dennis Hone, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, on Thursday.

It will host men's and women's group matches in basketball, as well as the women's quarterfinals. The rest of the knockout stages will be held in the O2 Arena in the southwest part of the city.

The stadium will also host handball matches during the games. The distinctive white arena is one of the largest temporary venues used for an Olympics, and will be dismantled after the games.

"Basketball is one of the most popular Olympic sports and spectators will be able to see the game played out in spectacular surroundings," said Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organizing Committee. "It is a superb venue which will be the center of some of the best team action during the London 2012 Olympic Games."

The first event will be the London International Basketball Invitational on Aug. 16-21 and featuring men's teams from Britain, Australia, China, Croatia, France and Serbia.