2012 organisers bank on dry weather

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The Independent Online

London 2012 leaders claim it does not matter that the majority of visitors to the Olympic Stadium will not be seated under a roof - because it hardly ever rains in the capital.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, claimed it was dry 94 per cent of the time while Olympics minister Tessa Jowell argued visitors could put on raincoats if there was a downpour.

Only 40 per cent of the stadium will be under cover - and a visit today by British athletes including diving's new world champion Tom Daley coincided with one of the 6 per cent of days when it does rain in London.

Johnson said: "It is not raining in London 94 per cent of the time, we have exactly the same climatic conditions as Paris.

"Rumours of our wetness are greatly exaggerated and I think the Olympic Stadium will be absolutely fantastic."

Jowell added: "In the unlikely event that at some point it rains during the Olympics, people are used to pulling on raincoats to watch sport in this country."

Today marked three years to go to the opening of the 2012 Games, and the javelin train, one of the main parts of the transport network for the London Olympics, passed its first official time trial.

British athletes and VIPs were whisked from central London to the Olympic Park in six minutes and 45 seconds, 15 seconds inside the target time.

At the 2012 Games, the high-speed link should take 25,000 people an hour from St Pancras to Stratford in the east of the capital.

Preparations are currently ahead of schedule and London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe said all the focus was on maintaining that.

Coe said: "That's the challenge - everyone wakes up every morning focused on delivering a fantastic Games on time and within budget and that's why we get up in the morning."

Organisers have yet to settle on a solution for the use of the Olympic Stadium after 2012, beyond the fact that it will be a national home for athletics.

The latest suggestion is that it could be used for Twenty20 cricket matches and Coe said all options were being considered.

He added: "We have always made it clear we want a track-and-field legacy but not uniquely, and there are other things that are being looked at."

Jowell also confirmed the Government were looking to appoint a famous figure as a 'sports legacy tsar' to drive their campaign for more public participation in sport or physical activity.

The appointment is likely to be a high-profile ex-Olympian such as Sir Steve Redgrave or Dame Kelly Holmes.

Jowell said: "This is a very specific focus on the ambitious targets for getting [two million] more people playing sport and physically active.

"No country has ever set a target as ambitious as this and we want to drive it as hard as we can. Somebody who is a respected, recognised and loved sportsman or sportswoman is the person we hope can inspire people."

Meanwhile, David Beckham, Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson have all be named as ambassadors for International Inspiration, London 2012's international legacy programme for children and young people.