Australia's leading tennis venue is to be transformed into a swimming pool for the FINA world championships in 2007, organisers confirmed tonight.
There will be a pool dropped into Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena, the home of the Australian Open, during the championships from March 18 to April 1 in 2007.
The swimming and synchronised swimming competitions are to be held in the venue with a capacity for 12,500 spectators.
Melbourne originally won the right to host the event with the competition pool scheduled to be the one being built at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) at Albert Park for next year's Commonwealth Games.
The water polo and diving will still be held at MSAC, and the open water at St Kilda and Docklands venues.
"Melbourne will create history in 2007 by becoming the only city to have hosted aquatic disciplines across each of the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and a world championships," said Victorian Sports Minister Justin Madden.
He said Rod Laver Arena would hold 2,500 more spectators than MSAC.
About 2500 athletes from 175 countries are expected to attend the championships.