Birmingham is drawing up plans for an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Eastside amid fears that the city is in a race against time to cash in on the 2012 Games.
The city council has teamed up with Aston University, which has been considering building a sports complex on Jennens Road for the past few years.
However, talks over the £25 million 50-metre pool and leisure centre have moved on quickly since London was named as the host city for the 2012 Olympics.
A feasibility study has recently been launched which could be concluded by Easter.
Council leisure chiefs hope the swimming pool would be open by 2009, which would ensure Birmingham is considered an attractive venue by Olympic teams looking at potential bases for the London Olympics.
Coun John Alden (Con Harborne), who has campaigned for an Olympic-sized pool since he became the cabinet member of leisure, sport and culture 18 months ago, said he wanted the city to "send out the right signals" to the larger teams.
He said: "We are talking with a number of different organisations about joint-funding a 50-metre swimming pool, and Aston University is one of them.
"I am looking forward to developing this idea because it is essential that Birmingham has a 50-metre pool as soon as possible.
"My personal view is that we have to get facilities in place by 2009 if we have any realistic chance of getting the major teams here. They are not going to consider Birmingham as a potential training city if they cannot see the facilities in place."
It is understood the pool in Eastside would be at least 50 metres long, and would be able to split into two 25-metre pools, or a single 30-metre pool to cater for men's water polo.
Birmingham has searched for a suitable location for an Olympic pool for a number of years. Potential sites have included land around Edgbaston Reservoir.
A pool is also being considered as part of Birmingham City's plans for a new super-stadium in Saltley. However, these proposals depend on the project securing a licence to run a casino in the grounds of the development.
Aston University secretary registrar David Packham said talks with the council had gained "impetus" since London secured the Olympics last July.
He said: "The university could not justify a 50-metre pool by itself, so we have been working with the city council and we have commissioned a joint feasibility study.
"It would be good for Eastside, for Birmingham and the West Midlands. The UK has a shortage of 50-metre swimming pools. We have already had some design concepts done.
"If we cannot get city council support then we will look at building a smaller sports complex.
"But the Olympic decision has added more momentum to the discussions - especially in view of the funding that will become available and the desire to regenerate East-side."
A Chinese delegation visited Birmingham last month as part of a Europe-wide tour of sporting facilities.
If the Chinese decide against basing themselves in Birmingham, other major teams would be wooed as Birmingham attempts to secure a windfall of more than £40 million from Olympic spin-offs.
Plans for a 50-metre pool in Birmingham were first put forward by the council 25 years ago, but abandoned on cost grounds.
The only other Olympic-sized pool in the West Midlands is at Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre but this no longer meets Olympic regulations.
There are only 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools in the UK, which is fewer than in either Paris or Berlin. ..SUPL: