Emirates Arena reopens after Games spectacular

THE Emirates Arena has opened to the public for the first time following the Commonwealth Games.

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City residents and visitors can now use the gym and attend fitness classes at the £113million sports hall and Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.

However, the opening of the sports arena and sports hall marks the final stage of the reopening process following Glasgow's sporting spectacular.

More than 500 builders were involved in creating the venue, which first opened on October 5, 2012.

In its first year of opening, more than 350,000 members of the public had visited the ­Dalmarnock site and used the state-of-the-art facilities.

The velodrome, which joins the complex, was opened three days before the Emirates and has enjoyed similar success in attracting sports fans through its doors.

Staff are now gearing up for the venue's next big event when it hosts the European Open judo championships in on Saturday, October 4.

Some of the stars of this summer's Games will be competing in the event, including Team Scotland's gold medallists Kimberley Renicks and Sarah Adlington.

Athletes from the London 2012 Olympics, including silver medallist Gemma Gibbons, Sally Conway, Kelly Edwards and Gemma Howell will also be attendance.

Five Glasgow 2014 gold medal winners, four silver and three bronze medallists will form part of the 26-strong Great British team competing in what will be the country's biggest ever judo-only event this year.

Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said: "These world class venues have performed brilliantly in front of a global audience ­during the Commonwealth Games but are now being used again by the people of Glasgow.

"Some of the very best international athletes are once again making plans to compete in Glasgow and the European Open Judo Championships will be another great opportunity to see Commonwealth Games athletes in action."

Organised in partnership with Glasgow Life, British Judo, Judo Scotland and Event Scotland, the competition is expected to attract hordes of sporting fans through the doors of the East End venue.

Spectators will get the chance to meet their idols at special signing events throughout the day.

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