IOC's Rogge promises 'great' London Games

Belgian surgeon will preside over his last Olympics

The London Olympics will be a "great Games" and will not be affected by poor weather or last-minute disruptions, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said on Friday after arriving a week before the opening ceremony.

London will be hosting its third Olympics after 1908 and 1948 from July 27-Aug 12 with organisers dealing with security issues, strike threats and rainy weather.

"I believe these will be great Games," a smiling Rogge told Reuters at the official IOC hotel in central London.

The Belgian surgeon, who will preside over his last Olympics before stepping down next year, said organisers had set the foundations for a successful Games.

"I expect the maximum because we organise the Games for the welfare of the athletes. I am confident," Rogge said.

"Preparation in spite of some difficulties has been very sound. All the bases have been covered so I am very optimistic. This is the country that invented modern sport...they love sport and it is a good promotion of sport overseas."

Rogge also played down the effect that wet weather can have on competition, saying it was not a major issue.

Britain suffered the wettest June since records began while July has also seen almost no sunshine and constant rain.

"It might affect in a minor way scheduling for tennis at Wimbledon but other than that I do not see many problems," he said.

Transport delays also loom over the event, with border officials going on strike on July 26 and train drivers in central England walking out from August 6-8 during the final week of the Games.

The British government has also had to draft in the army to help with venue security after company G4S said it could not supply enough guards.

 

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