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Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 16:14 UK

IOC pleased with London progress

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown addressed IOC members on Thursday

The International Olympic Committee's monitoring team has heaped praise on the progress London is making for the 2012 Games.

The team, who completed a three-day visit to the capital on Thursday, awarded near-perfect marks to London.

IOC co-ordination commission chairman Denis Oswald said he'd give London '9.75 out of 10.'

Oswald added: "From what we have seen, we are very confident we will have excellent facilities for the Games."

London 2012 organisers marked the end of the visit by announcing construction has officially started on the Olympic Stadium, three months ahead of schedule.

Funding has been one area of concern for the 2012 Games as has the fact that work on the Olympic Village is due to start next month without a contract with the constructors.

But Oswald says that there are no areas that the IOC should be massively concerned with.

"I have difficulty in finding any area where we have concerns but if we had to mention something which will be challenging it is traffic and transport," he said.

BBC's Gordon Farquhar

"There will be additional people coming in to watch the Games and going from one place to another will be a challenge but we know LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) has made plans already and with the quality of people on board we are confident this will be resolved in a satisfactory manner."

The IOC visited venues including Wembley Stadium on Tuesday and went on to meet the main London 2012 project leaders.

These include London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan and ODA chairman John Armitt.

The Commission was also able to meet this week with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, leader of the opposition David Cameron, Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster, Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell and the newly elected Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

"The cross party support for the Games and the backing from the highest levels of Government in Great Britain is extremely reassuring," said Oswald

"This strong basis of support for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be crucial to London 2012 achieving its objectives."

We take great encouragement from the Commission's comments

Lord Sebestian Coe

Jowell herself welcomed the IOC report of London's progress.

"I am delighted that the IOC co-ordination commission has recognised the strong progress we have made in our preparations for the 2012 Games," she said.

"The fact that we marked the start of work early on the stadium is a tremendous achievement and is a real indication of our progress.

"We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that London hosts Olympic and Paralympic Games we can all be proud of."

Lord Coe added: "We take great encouragement from the Commission's comments and the obvious confidence they have in the job we have done so far - they, after all, are the experts."


see also
Olympics 2012 blog
22 May 08 |  Cricket
London 2012 stadium in pictures
07 Nov 07 |  London 2012

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