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London Aquatics Center opens with a splash

Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Mara Elena Aiacoboae of Romania competes in the Women's 10m Platform Preliminary round during the 18th FINA Visa Diving World Cup at The Aquatics Center on Feb. 20 in London. The diving competition has been called a test for the upcoming Olympics in July.

Toby Melville / Reuters

Thousands of British fans poured into the sleek, wave-shaped London Aquatic Center to witness the Diving World Cup, the latest test event for the upcoming 2012 Olympics.

Geoff Caddick / EPA

Chinese divers Kai Qin and Yutong Lou win the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard at the FINA Diving World Cup held in the Aquatic Center in London.

The Aquatics Center that will host four events at this summer's Olympics was given a big thumbs-up Monday when the London venue opened its doors for competition for the first time with the weeklong Diving World Cup.

Whie the event provides a final opportunity for divers to secure qualification for London, it also gives many top performers an early chance to sample the atmosphere of an Olympic venue. The Aquatics Center will also host swimming, synchronized swimming and modern pentathlon this summer. 

"Pools have their own uniqueness, design and engineering to depict culture, history or innovation. This captured all of them," said American diver Troy Dumais, a three-time Olympian. "These are phenomenal facilities. We don't often get to see things like this and sometimes it can be overwhelming and mythical, and it can throw you out of your routine." 

China dominated the opening day's action, with Qin Kai and Luo Yutong winning the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard. 

-- The Associated Press contributed to this blog post.

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Toby Melville / Reuters

Christopher Mears and Nicholas Robinson Baker of Britain dive during the Men's Synchronised 3 meter Springboard preliminary round on Feb. 20. The diving competition has been called a test for the upcoming Olympics in July.