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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, 15:58 GMT
London 'to set new standard'
Seb Coe
Coe is the deputy chairman of the 2012 London Olympic bid
London will stage a "unique" Olympics if the capital is awarded the 2012 Games, according to Sebastian Coe.

The former Olympic 1,500m champion and deputy chairman of the bid said the key would be the concentration of proposed venues in east London.

He said the proximity to central London also gives the bid the edge over Paris, New York and Madrid.

"It can be a unique bid. We ought to be one of the favourites when we get to the final stages," Coe said.

The former Conservative MP added: "There will never have been an Olympic Games, nor is three likely to be one if the future, where the venues are so condensed into such a unique area.

"The Lower Lea Valley is an area which has been earmarked for massive regeneration. It's a 1,500-acre area of which 500-square acres will be the Olympic complex.

[It] can provide a blueprint for other Olympic bids. London did that in 1948 and can do it again
Sebastian Coe

"We already have half our venues within 15 minutes travel time of the Olympic village.

"It will be a seven-minute journey by the time of 2012 from Trafalgar Square into the heart of the Olympic complex.

"What we can do is put on a Games which will provide a formidable legacy for people in that part of London and a huge legacy for British sport.

"But it is also something that can provide a blueprint for other Olympic bids. London did that in 1948 and can do it again.

"If we are able to finalise our bid proposals and put them to the IOC they will see it is a very different concept that we are bringing."

The London bid committee will submit in-depth details of the capital's plans to the International Olympic Committee in the new year.

Coe said: "It's coming on steadily. We've built a team over the summer months, we've now got around 40 people on the bid committee and that will get up to about 120 when we come up to the vote in 2004.

"The main task at the moment is we have the questionnaire to submit, the first of the hurdles. We need to submit that to the International Olympic Committee by mid-January.

"If we pass the first hurdle we become a 'candidate city' not an 'applicant city' and we just keep pushing on."

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