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Wembley Arena to host badminton & gymnastics in 2012

Category: England

Published: 11th Feb 2010 22:12:52

Badminton and rhythmic gymnastics have agreed to stage their London 2012 events at Wembley Arena rather than at a temporary venue in Greenwich.

International Olympic Committee official Denis Oswald confirmed the decision in Vancouver on Thursday.

"These two federations have accepted to move rather than forcing the organising committee to build an expensive temporary venue," Oswald said.

The agreement will need to be ratified by the two sports next month.

Oswald, the chairman of the IOC's co-ordination commission for London, added: "Several millions will be saved and we would like to thank the sports for their understanding in these challenging economic times."

Badminton's governing body wanted to be near to the Olympic Park in Stratford and were initially unhappy at the plans to move them to Wembley.

But athletes are likely to be offered nearby accommodation and training facilities to cut travel times.

Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robinson is among those who supported the decision not to build the temporary venue and to play at Wembley.

He told BBC Sport: "For players, Wembley has a lot of history. To win a medal there at the London Olympics would give it a bit of extra spice rather than in a new venue."

Meanwhile, London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton revealed that organisers have abandoned plans to use a single torch in the relay due to security concerns over possible protests.

Deighton said: "We felt that just having one torch reverted to the traditional approach but, when we went through it with the IOC, we agreed that it then becomes a bit of a target.

"We have therefore reverted to the standard practice of the last few Games, and people in the relay do like to buy the torch."

Up to 8,000 people will take part in the relay across Britain for London 2012. For the Vancouver relay, the 12,000 torchbearers that took part could each buy the torch they carried.

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BBC News, 2010. Wembley Arena to host badminton & gymnastics in 2012 [Online] (Updated 11th Feb 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/36640/Wembley-Arena-to-host-badminton-gymnastics-in-2012 [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

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