• Organisers hail London Prepares series as a success
• 42 test events completed in less than 12 months
• 350,000 spectators enjoy world class sport
In less than 12 months, LOCOG has delivered 42 test events in 28 venues allowing approximately 350,000 spectators to enjoy world class sport in Olympic venues.
Across the 183 days of competition, spanning all Olympic sports and disciplines and six Paralympic sports, there were 25,000 workforce involved including many Games Makers who will volunteer over the summer. Taking part were 8,000 elite athletes competing in new, existing and temporary venues.
Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair described the London 2012 test events as a success: 'We set out to run events which would test the venues, the sporting field of play and our workforce, whilst at the same time allowing members of the public to enjoy world class sport in an Olympic setting.
'We have done just this and all these events, without exception, have gone well. Of course there will be some lessons learned from each event, but we have not had to make any major changes to any of our venues or our plans. We are in great shape and on course to stage the world’s greatest sporting event.'
Over the past six days the final seven test events have taken place, five of which were within in the Olympic Park, enabling Park operations including spectator flows, security and ticketing to be tested.
The most recent London Prepares series events saw a British victory for the Women’s Hockey team at the Riverbank Arena, whilst Hungary took victory in the Visa Water Polo International. The Olympic Stadium hosted the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Visa Outdoor Athletics Championships where Charlie Purdue, a student at St Mary's, stole the show as she set a new BUCS championship record of 15.15.12 in the 5000 meters.
Despite some challenging weather, all the matches took place at the Eton Manor Wheelchair Tennis International with Robin Ammerlaan and Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands clinching the men’s and women's Singles titles respectively.
The London Boccia Invitational 2012 saw Great Britain win three Gold medals (BC1 and BC2 Mixed Individual events, and the BC3 Mixed Pairs event) with Greece winning Gold in the BC3 Mixed Individual event and Republic of Korea taking Gold in the BC1-2 Mixed Team event.
British athletes Richard Whitehead, Hannah Cockroft and Paul Blake made history at the Visa London Disability Athletics Challenge, supported by UK Sport, clocking new World Records in the T42 200m, T34 100m and T36 1500m respectively.
Outside the Olympic Park, Paralympic archery champions Dani Brown and John Stubbs claimed silver in the women’s and men’s compound while Britain's John Cavanagh took bronze in the compound W1 event at the London Para Archery International Tournament which took place at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
At the same venue in late April, the ISSF Shooting World Cup took place where the largest test event in athletic terms took place where 808 athletes from 95 countries enjoyed 12 days of competition and produced two equal world records.
The end of April also saw Australia take victory over Great Britain in the London International Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament. Russia dominated at the FINA Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification winning the teams technical and teams free routines.
All results can be found on www.londonpreparesseries.com
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Notes to editors:
For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at www.london2012.com. Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog http://www.london2012.com/blog or follow us on Twitter
About Visa Europe
In Europe, there are 445 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending September 2011 those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of €1.7 trillion. 14% of consumer spending at point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card, and almost 80% of that is on Visa debit cards.
Visa Europe is owned and operated by more than 3,700 European member banks and was incorporated in July 2004. Visa Europe is independent of global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe, while both companies operate to ensure global interoperability. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.
Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/PLUS is one of the world’s largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 200 countries.
For more information, visit www.visaeurope.com
About Team 2012
Team 2012 presented by Visa is a fundraising programme designed to provide UK athletes with the tools and support to reach their full potential and win more medals at European Championships, World Championships – and of course at the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012. It is a joint venture between the British Olympic Association, ParalympicsGB, UK Sport and LOCOG. Alongside the vital role played by The National Lottery and Exchequer funding, Team 2012 will help fund our athletes over the next two years.
The vast majority of funds raised through Team 2012 will be distributed by UK Sport through its World Class Performance Programme which ensures that the UK’s most talented athletes have every chance of reaching their potential. Having run their programme since 1997, UK Sport has developed a highly successful ‘No Compromise’ approach, which ultimately means taking no short cuts in resourcing the best athletes to realise their medal ambitions. Funding is provided to athletes via their sport’s governing body, in support of a performance programme that includes coaching, training and competition support, medical and scientific services and equipment and access to the best facilities.
UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme distributes approximately £3.5 million of Lottery funding each year to support the bidding and staging costs of major events on home soil, as well as providing specialist support to organisers. Ahead of London 2012, events are supported primarily based on their likely performance impact, but consideration is given to the broader impacts of events: to maximise the wider sporting, social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits, as well as sporting performance and legacy.
Over 100 events, hosted by at least 35 different towns and cities, will have been supported from 2007 until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These competitions will have attracted around 30,000 athletes and provided opportunities for over 27,000 officials and volunteers to gain international sporting experience and develop key skills ahead of London 2012. More @ www.uksport.gov.uk/events
London 2012 Games partners:
The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the London 2012 Olympic Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.
LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games-only Partner, Sainsbury’s and two domestic Tier Three Paralympic Games-only Suppliers, Otto Bock and Panasonic. The London 2012 Paralympic Games also acknowledges the support of the National Lottery.