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Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 20:23 UK

Badminton opposed to 2012 switch

Nathan Robertson
Robertson is an Olympic silver medallist

Badminton has joined boxing in opposing a switch to Wembley Arena at the 2012 London Olympics.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson wants the sport played at Wembley rather than a proposed temporary venue near the Olympic Park in Stratford.

"Our intention is to stay in the Olympic Park or be as close to the Park as we can," said Badminton England's chief executive Adrian Christy.

"We are not encouraging conversation about using Wembley Arena."

Badminton England believes playing at Wembley would damage competitors performances due to the travelling time that will be required from the athletes' village in Stratford.

ADRIAN WARNER'S BLOG

Johnson, whose office is contributing £1.175bn to the overall Olympics budget, has rejected plans to build the 6,000-seat North Greenwich Arena 2, which would also accommodate rhythmic gymnastics as well as badminton

The mayor's office believes costs could be reduced if badminton and rhythmic gymnastics were moved, and if shooting was switched from Woolwich Barracks to Barking.

"I think the mayor's position is quite clear," said the mayor's Olympics adviser Neale Coleman.

"I don't think he thinks anyone will understand why on earth we would spend tens of millions of pounds on putting up something temporary which will be scrapped after the Games when we have such a good facility as Wembley."

"I don't think the public will understand at a time when everyone knows we need restraint in public spending that we should be spending money unnecessarily on what is already a huge investment programme for the Olympics."

Badminton England has the backing of its international governing body, the Badminton World Federation.



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see also
BOA opposed to 2012 boxing switch
16 Sep 09 |  Olympics
London 2012 'on time and budget'
23 Apr 09 |  London
Wembley may stage Olympic boxing
23 Apr 09 |  Olympics
Olympics 2012 venue guide
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics


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