On schedule and on budget – Olympic chief praises London

Preparations for next year compare favourably with Beijing's efforts, says confident IOC president

Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, believes London's preparations leave them as well positioned with a year to go as any recent Games, including the behemoth that was Beijing.

The 2008 Games organisers enjoyed the unparalleled support, funding and resources of the Chinese government and a budget that has been estimated as more than four times that of London's £9.3bn, but Rogge has told The Independent that he regards next year's host city as being in an equally strong position.

"They have done a great job," said Rogge of London's organisers. "We are extremely pleased – it is on schedule and on budget. Quality-wise we are very satisfied. They are very well prepared. In terms of preparation they are on a par with Beijing."

The Olympic Park in London's East End is now 88 per cent complete – the £269m Aquatics Centre will tomorrow be the latest venue to be finished, with Tom Daley due to christen the diving pool live on BBC1. Test events around the city have begun, with the first one in the Park itself scheduled for 16 August in the basketball arena. "It is going to leave a legacy to the city," said Rogge, "bringing new infrastructure, housing and roads – a very strong urban legacy."

Rogge, a former Belgium Olympic sailor who has led the IOC since 2001, said there were no areas of London's preparation that worried him, although the questions over transport and security remain constants at every Games. "There are no particular concerns," Rogge said of London. "There is the eternal concern of traffic circulation but that is valid for all Olympic cities and London appears to have adapted a good strategy.

"Security has been a number one priority for the Olympic movement since Munich in 1972. That is something we must never forget. There must always be good balance – implementation without being too heavy."

There was also high praise yesterday for the state of the host's sporting preparation. At UK Sport's latest briefing on the state of the 28 Olympic and Paralympic sports ahead of the Games, Liz Nicholl, the body's chief executive, expressed growing confidence in their ability to meet the target of a fourth-placed finish in the medals table, as they did in 2008, but with more medals from more sports than Britain won in Beijing. Nicholl said: "We are on track – the current state of play is very positive indeed. British sport is feeling good."

Taking the Olympic sports as a whole, British teams and athletes are further ahead in this stage of the cycle than they were before the 2008 Games, which yielded 47 medals and 19 golds. "It is clear that the mood in the camp across British sport is positive and one of measured confidence," said Nicholl, who cited taekwondo, swimming and cycling as sports that have particularly impressed in recent months. Cycling met their target of winning five to 10 world championship medals with three events in hand – they already have eight - while British taekwondo recently enjoyed its best world championships with four medals.

UK Sport, and its director of performance, Peter Keen, use a traffic light system to indicate the readiness of the Olympic sports under a variety of categories. Currently 11 of the 28 have been given a green rating with none on red. Athletics, in particular, is rated at being in a much stronger position than one year out from Beijing.

Nicholl said: "I am optimistic that, with 12 months to go, British sport could not be in a better place."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project