Lord COE on London's Olympic Bid

LONDON, Nov 15 (AFP) - Britain’s middle distance great Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 bid committee, insisted Sunday that the English capital have closed ground on leading rivals Paris and Madrid in their bid to host the Olympic Games.
Paris, London, New York, Madrid and Moscow put in their official bids to stage the 2012 Olympics to the International Olympic Committee on Monday.
And Coe believes that their 600-page document which details every facet of London’s bid, from transport and security to the stadia and facilities, will be enough to convince.
I think we have to concede that Paris were ahead at the very beginning of this simply because this was the second or third time they have bid,'' Coe told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme. They were in the bid last time and we took some time to throw the hat into the ring for London.
When we made the initial submission in January, which put us into third place, we were very much in the infancy of the bid. We have moved a long way on a lot of the issues. Transport was generally viewed as a problem for us amongst IOC members, it is now seen as one of our strongest hands.
Since the initial submission in January that got London to the table as a candidate city we have narrowed the gap quite dramatically on the perceived front runners. We have to be absolutely sure that everything we have control over has to be the best, and if it is the best we will win,’’ said Coe, who won gold in the 1500m at both the 1980 and 1984 Olympics and silver both times in the 800m.
In the months since London’s initial bid placed them third, much has changed, most notably that Coe replaced Barbara Cassani as the bid’s leader. His influence on the IOC members could be crucial.
London’s bid does not feature one specific sales pitch, but rather outlines every aspect of how the nation’s capital could successfully stage the world’s biggest sporting event.
It's a huge document. It is 600 pages and it details, in every detail, everything you would expect to be a pre-requisite for organising a Games,'' explained Coe. It allows every IOC member to look at something they are specifically interested in. Most of them come to the table because of sport. Sixty-odd percent have been involved in sport at one level or another, 30-odd percent are Olympic medallists.
But within that framework it could be all the issues, maybe someone is particularly keen to see how we deal with the environment; another is very keen on how their particular sport will be rolled out in the UK. I don’t think there is any one specific issue. What the candidate file does do is hopefully take us into a zone of confidence.
There may be a number of reasons why they do or don't vote for London ultimately, but it won't be because we will be unable to organise a Games.'' A delegation from the IOC will visit London in February as part of their analysis into the five bidding cities. A report will then be drawn up and handed to the IOC members in June, who will vote for the successful city at the 117th IOC session the following month in Singapore. The IOC members at that point will have to make some hard and fast decisions. Our job is to make sure we are they ones they want to work with for the next seven or eight years,’’ added Coe.
London’s bid includes the construction of a brand new sporting complex aimed at reviving east London, but also includes tradition sites in the capital with Horseguard’s Parade, Hyde Park and Lord’s all potential venues.