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Wenlock Games site threat averted

8 July 10 14:56 GMT

The future of the home of the Wenlock Olympian Games - the forerunner to the modern Olympics- has been assured.

A new school is being built on Linden Fields, shrinking the available space for the Games to take place.

But a new running track has been laid, allowing the 2010 Games - the 124th in all - to take place.

The Wenlock Olympian Games provided the inspiration for the modern Olympics, with one of the London 2012 mascots being named Wenlock in recognition.

"This year has been a challenge," Helen Cromarty of the Wenlock Olympian Society told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"The Olympian Games have been going since 1850. The war years were a challenge and the building of new facilities was a challenge. There was a possibility that we were going to have to move.

"Essentially the Olympian Games needed the running track and without it they would have had to find a new home."

As well as the new running track, new high jump and long jump facilities have been installed.

However there is no room for the archery, which has moved to a new venue, and hockey will not be included in this year's Games.

The Wenlock Games were founded by Dr William Penny Brookes, who lived in the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, in 1850.

They came to the notice of Pierre de Coubertin, who saw the Games as a model to revive what has become the Olympics.

The 2010 Wenlock Olympian Games take place on Sunday, 11 July.

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