April 7 - The Gold Coast's bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games has received another boost with the news that a new international standard $7 million (£4 million) swimming pool is to be opened in the city.

Pre-construction work has already begun on the Olympic-sized pool at Palm Beach and is set to be opened in November as part of a $20 million (£12 million) upgrade of the area.

The Gold Coast is one of only two bidders for the Games, along with the Sri Lankan city of Hambantota, which would have to build most of its facilities from scratch if they are chosen to host the event.

Perry Crosswhite, the chief executive of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA), said the FINA-standard pool would help the Gold Coast's bid.

He told the Gold Coast Bulletin:  "There is no doubt that any facility in support of the bid is a good product.

"Obviously all the pools [used in the Games] do not have to be in the one place.

"It is the early stages but we have a very good plan."

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