A giant statue of the goddess Athena will be one of the highlights of Friday's Olympic Games opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium.

The field area surrounded by the athletics track is to be flooded with water and turned into lake with mythological figures sailing through the water.

The statue of Athena is to rise through a hole in the centre of the field area.

A dress rehearsal for the ceremony was held last night in front of a crowd of about 35,000 people, including employees of the organising committee and volunteers.

As well as the statue of Athena, the ceremony set is also reported to feature a mountain with an olive branch resting on it and a replica of the Trojan horse.

Organisers will carry out a full dress rehearsal with about 70,000 spectators on Tuesday night to test security, crowd management and transport issues.

Filed by James McMahon