2012 Torch Relay Rehearsal: East Mids
20 April 2012, 12:37
Lord Coe has told Capital he's 'confident' the Olympic Torch relay will be a success but admits there's still a long way to go before it can be judged as one.
A full 12-hour dress rehearsal is taking place today in which 122 torchbearers will be carrying it 80 miles between Leicester and Peterborough. It'll be handed over on two steam trains during the course of the day and on a boat on Rutland Water.
The flame arrives in the UK on May 18th and will spend 70 days travelling around the country before reaching the Olympic stadium on July 27th.
Chairman of the organising committee Lord Coe has told Capital it's going smoothly so far:
'Feedback from the front is very good but it is only first few hours. We have a full day it?s travelling over 80 miles on very different forms of transport. But I've been talking to some of the torchbearers and everyone's really excited seems to be going alright at the moment.'
The route will actually take place for real on July 3rd - day 46 of the relay - and takes in cities and countryside as well as Loughborough University the home of the British team for the Olympics.
Coe told Capital:
'I'm delighted it's in Leicestershire a large part of my athletics career took place on this very campus"
'It's very important that when we have any opportunity too we must test. We're doing all the sporting events, we're testing technology, results systems, and we?re testing ourselves all the time to deliver a great games.'
Around 400 people are working on today's rehearsal which sees a 14 vehicle convoy going through 12 different communities, and organisers have picked this route as its a challenging day operationally.
'This is a very public face of the project so its sensible for us to have replicated a day out on the road where we're able to co-ordinate the three c's - the crew, convoy and communications across all those groups, so it all works seamlessly.
'Yes I am confident the Torch Relay, which will be within 10 miles of 90% of the UK population from next month, will be a success' but Coe admits there'll be 'plenty of things we'll learn from today that's why we're testing.'