London 2012 canoe-sprint venue impresses ICF
Eton Dorney, which will host the canoe-sprint events during the London 2012 Olympic Games, has been praised by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) following the successful staging of the London Canoe Sprint Invitational International Regatta from 1-4 September.
“We work very closely with London 2012 on the venue requirements and we are extremely satisfied with what we have here at Eton Dorney,” said ICF Vice-President Richard Fox. “We are very confident at the ICF that Eton Dorney will host a very special Olympic canoe sprint competition next year.”
The London Canoe Sprint Invitational International Regatta, which was the first international canoe sprint regatta to be held in Britain for more than 30 years, saw 200 elite athletes from 30 countries competing at the Olympic venue, giving the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) the chance to test key aspects of its Games-time operations, such as the sporting field of play and the results, timing and scoring systems.
“This is another exciting international event which is crucial for us to ensure we test our functions and aid planning to deliver a great Games in 2012,” said LOCOG Head of Sport Competition David Luckes. “Even though Eton Dorney is an existing venue it is still vital we test our operations and make sure we are ready.”
In preparation for the Games next year, the venue’s existing facilities have been improved, including the installation of a new 50m-span bridge over a widened entrance to the return lake, making access easier for vehicles and pedestrians. The ICF has also been impressed by the lasting legacy that the canoe venue will provide once the Games have finished.
“Another great thing is the legacy from this venue and also the white water canoe venue at Lee Valley,” said Fox. “This venue here at Eton Dorney is already used by the GB team and hosts competitions, while Lee Valley will stage the Canoe Slalom World Championships in 2015.
“There is also a pre-legacy at Lee Valley because it is already being used for elite training and recreational use so, from a canoeing perspective, both venues meet that legacy interest.”
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