Coe confident of trouble-free Games despite riots



Coe confident of trouble-free Games despite riots London: The London riots will not undermine confidence in the city's ability to stage a trouble-free Olympics next year, organising committee chairman Sebastian Coe said on Thursday.

Asked if the violence and looting seen across London since Saturday would lead to doubts about the capital hosting a safe Olympics, Coe told Reuters: "I don't think that for one moment.

"That's not to remotely minimise the disfiguring scenes that we've witnessed on our TV sets and in the media more generally," he said at Wembley Arena.

Coe is visiting various Olympic venues with large numbers of IOC personnel. The schedule included a stop at Wembley Arena which is staging the world badminton championships this week as a dry-run for next year's Games.

"We have had 205 national Olympic committees with us this week, we have the leadership of the IOC with us and actually it has been quite important for them to have seen that while we have had our challenges in London these events have gone on in an orderly and timely way," Coe said.

With no police presence needed, organisers have been able to stage the badminton championships at Wembley as planned though a couple of delegations voiced concern earlier in the week when the rioting was at its height.

Coe said: "I can understand that but I've spent a lot of time with the different national Olympic committees in the last 48 hours and I think they recognise that under very difficult circumstances we have managed to deliver what we set out to deliver."

Coe expressed confidence that everything was on track for the Games.

He added: "I do know we have a lot of work to do in the next year to make sure we absorb everything we can from the test events and that we go on delivering at what is now the business end of this seven years."

Earlier, while visiting Horse Guards Parade in central London, venue for the beach volleyball, he said: "I've spent a lot of time talking to the athletes and they are really happy about the way the championships are being delivered.

"When you think about our pledge to use iconic venues and the smart use of temporary structures in those iconic venues I think we have got it pretty well right."

Asked at Wembley what kept him awake at night, he said: "I can't say anything does, other than where my daughters get to on a Friday evening."

Bureau Report