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IOC Chief confident of great Games

World assured of a spectacle in “country that invented a lot of sports”

Image Credit: Reuters
An Olympic flag flies near the Queen’s Guard marching out of Buckingham Palace in front ofthe venue for the finish of the cycling road race at the London 2012 Olympic Games on Thursday.
Gulf News

London: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge is confident London can deliver yet another great edition of the Olympic Games when the sporting spectacle opens this Friday.

“The executive board focused on the preparations for London and I can confidently say that we have a good report to give about all aspects: immigration at airport is working well and transport is satisfactory, security is in place and everything is dead on target,” Rogge told media here.

“I believe these will be a great Games,” he added.

London will be hosting its third Olympic Games after 1908 and 1948, and this time the city has been struggling with security issues, strike threats and the fickle English weather.

However, the weather has cleared up in the past few days and security arrangements have satisfied the IOC chief, who is presiding over his last Olympics before stepping down from his post in September next year.

“I expect the maximum because we organise the Games for the welfare of the athletes. I am confident,” Rogge said.

Rogge was also confident London would leave a legacy like no other city before. “The very visible identity of the Games will be seen in London. It’s like going to a country that has invented a lot of modern sports in the second half of the 19th century,” he said.

“They love sport and it is a good promotion of sport overseas,” he added.

G4S, the security company, was scheduled to supply 4,000 personnel, but could not deliver these at the last minute, prompting the government to ask the army for help.

“Security was an issue and the company will now compensate. We need to move on now and continue for the success of the Games,” Rogge said.

Transport delays also loom over the event, with border officials threatening to strike on July 26 and train drivers in central England saying they will walk out from August 6 to 8 during the final week of the Games. “We had a good Games in Beijing and I believe that London is very well prepared by people who know sports,” Rogge insisted.