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London 2012 – Coe handed keys to Olympic Park

Olympic Delivery Authority chairman Dennis Hone performed the ceremonial handover on the day that Prime Minister David Cameron held a Cabinet meeting in one of the venues.

Locog also revealed new names for some of the venues – the not so snappily-named multi-use arena, which will stage handball and goalball, will be known as the Copper Box while Great Britain’s hockey teams will go for gold at the Riverbank Arena, named after the River Lea that runs alongside it.

“The handover of the Olympic Park sounds the starting pistol in the race to get the site and venues ready to host the two biggest sporting events on the planet,” said Coe.

“In just 200 days time, 200 countries – more than the membership of the United Nations – will be sending 15,000 athletes and 20,000 accredited media to London to create history.

“There is huge excitement ahead and we want the whole country to start planning their summer.”

While venues appear almost complete, there is still plenty of work to do on the site – from the installation of a 100,000 square foot retail space, including a giant megastore, 1,000 picnic benches, 362 toilet blocks and 165 concession stands.

Venues will also be fitted out with their Olympic ‘look’, with timing and scoring systems plus one million pieces of sports equipment installed.

“We are in fine form ahead of the Games, having built the venues and main infrastructure on time and within budget,” said Hone.

“We hand the Olympic Park to the organising committee fully confident that they will continue pressing ahead on their preparations so that London 2012 becomes a brilliant once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience for everyone involved.

“As we move ahead into the final straight we will continue to work alongside the organising committee in completing our remaining construction work.”

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