London 2012 chief defends planned marathon change
London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe defended plans to move the
Olympic marathon route away from the main stadium and into the
heart of the capital.
Marathon runners would avoid the streets approaching the stadium
in Stratford, east London.
”This is not a beauty contest and it would be ludicrous to
suggest that we are ashamed of the East End,” Coe said Tuesday.
”We wouldn’t have created an Olympic Games that in large part is
delivered in the East End with all the legacies if that were the
Instead, competitors are set to run near London landmarks
including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.
”This is a purely operational issue,” Coe said. ”This has
nothing to do with iconic landmarks, or with the East End of London
or with broadcasting.
”It’s about the staging across 16 days of effectively 52
individual world championships and trying to create the matrix that
allows you to have a marathon at the same time as other events
without cutting across the ability of the competitors and
spectators to get there.”
Coe said the torch relay before the Olympics will go through
”It should be a much more impactful moment than a small
marathon field running through that borough,” Coe said. ”The
Olympic marathon is not like the London Marathon – the field is
only about 100 runners.”