London 2012: Archery records to be shattered at Lord’s
But Locog happy that archery test event tickets were not made available to general public
London 2012 officials are predicting world records will be smashed at next year’s Olympic archery competition.
Over 100 archers are currently competing at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in the London Archery Classic, part of the London Prepares Series of Olympic test events.
Already Korea’s Im Dong Hyun has broken a previous best in the men’s ranking round and Tom Dielen, secretary general of the International Archery Federation, believes more will follow.
“The world record was a perfect indication that the venue allows for very high scores and I am sure next year we will break both world records and Olympic records,” he said.
Next year two temporary stands, which will accommodate 5,000 spectators, will be erected on the outfield while spectators will also be allowed in the lower tier of the historic pavilion, with archers firing towards the Nursery End and its space age Lord’s Media Centre.
The home of Cricket is known for its genteel crowds, where murmurs replace boos and polite applause rowdy cheers, although Dielen is still expecting a red-hot atmosphere next summer.
“Tickets are all sold out, I am sure both stands will have a big Korean community, Indian community and many other countries from all around the world supporting their teams and we will make sure it is the best competition of next year’s Games,” added Dielen.
“It is for us by far the best venue of the London Olympic Games. It is really symbolising our sport, the heritage part of the pavilion and the media centre which shows the future.
“I think this is what our sport is about, we are a sport with a lot of history but at the same time we are looking to the future.
“The closest comparison to Lord’s and any other Olympic venue would be Athens, where we were in Panathinaiko Stadium which is also a legendary sporting venue.
“We prefer to showcase our sport here rather than purpose built venues like Beijing or Sydney. For the next Games we’ll be at the Sambadrome in Rio.”
Archery starts the second phase of Olympic test events with 16 competitions being staged in the coming months in a range of sports from gymnastics to diving, track cycling to goalball.
But Luckes denied an opportunity has been missed to publicly sell tickets for the archery event, especially as prized Olympic seats were among the first to sell out and this week’s rather soulless test event is taking place against a backdrop of empty white stands.
“We have given out free passes to local residents, to schools and colleges and also local archery clubs and over the weekend we will have representatives here from the London Archery juniors, Hillingdon juniors and the Royal Richmond juniors,” he added.
“We have got a seating capacity of 5,000 for the Olympics but until we sit down and work through with the seating contractor, we won’t know the exact capacity.
“I think when we looked across the board at all the test events we wanted to focus on areas that we needed to actually test.
“Lord’s is a venue that regularly holds 30,000 people, whereas at a Games time it will only accommodate 5,000 spectators.
“What we didn’t want to do was put too much infrastructure for the test event because we had a limited time in which to come and set up. We were never going to come and put the seating on the outfield for this week.”