(Photo: LOCOG)

260 Guardsmen from the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots and Welsh Guards have arranged themselves into the perfect formation to mark the latest milestone in the countdown to the London 2012 Olympic Games.  The image - taken on Monday 16 April at Horse Guards Parade, the Games time venue of the Beach Volleyball competitions – has not been enhanced or altered in any way.

The stunning photograph is just one of many ways in which the city of London and the rest of the United Kingdom are celebrating a significant landmark ahead of London 2012. On the sporting front, three test events begin on Wednesday as part of the Visa sponsored London Prepares Series, with Synchronised Swimming and Wheelchair Rugby taking place on the Olympic Park while the ISSF Shooting World Cup starts at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.  

Moving a little closer to home, The Netherlands men recently got their first taste of the Olympic Park hockey venue when they took part in a specially arranged training session on the iconic blue and pink pitches at the Riverbank Arena. Ahead of  Tuesday’s training session, Netherlands midfielder Lawrence Docherty failed to hide his exhilaration, tweeting: “Just arrived in London. 1st training at the Olympic venue. Excited? Just a little ;)”.

As well as the recent appearance by The Netherlands, the Riverbank Arena is entering the final stages of its preparations for the Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament, which begins in less than two weeks time. The competition is part of the London Prepares Series, a collection of top class sporting events which take place on the Olympic Park in a bid to test out the a number of the facilities that will be used during the 2012 Games.

The tournament will feature the men’s Australian and German teams who are currently ranked number one and two in the world; the current women’s world champions, Argentina; as well as both the men’s and women’s British teams as they prepare for the London 2012 Games. The men’s tournament will also feature India, winners of eight Olympic gold medals while China, the women’s silver medallists from Beijing, and Korea, also take part in the women’s event.

The Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament is a complete sell-out, with all tickets being snapped up within minutes of going on sale.  Last year, tickets for the Olympic Hockey competition also sold out at break-neck speed, proving that Hockey is one of the most eagerly anticipated events taking place at London 2012. Over 600,000 people will watch the matches that will take place at the Riverbank Arena during the 14 days of tournament competition.

To find out more details about the London 2012 Olympic Games, please visit the official website: www.london2012.com . You can also join in the “100 days” buzz on Twitter, using the #100daystogo hashtag.  A video celebrating the 100 days to go point in the build up to the games can be seen by clicking the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFKzoRekWFE