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  • London Latest - BOA Chief Confident in Medals Target; Olympic Park Neighborhoods Named


    BOA chief executive Andy Hunt (ATR)
    (ATR) British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt tells Around the Rings the BOA is not underestimating the task of ensuring Team GB secures fourth spot in the London 2012 medals table.

    Charles van Commenee, head of UK Athletics, last week warned Britain's track and field athletes that they must significantly improve to stand a chance of medalling at the Games. UK Athletics has a set a target of winning eight medals.

    Hunt said he was confident Team GB's athletes would deliver across all sports.

    "You don't want athletes to peak now. We actually them want to peak in London when they have a home crowd who are going to really help them get onto the podium," he told ATR.

    "Fourth place in the medals table is always going to be a tough challenge. That absolutely remains our ambition.

    "We have been very clear - more medals from more sports in over a century. The lead indicators are very, very good."

    But Hunt admitted Team GB athletes would have to be at their best to achieve their medal goals on home soil.

    "It's going to be tougher. There are going to be more nations that medal in London. The winning margin is going to be thinner, so we don't underestimate the challenge ahead. However, we are really confident around it," he added.

    He said the single biggest challenge for the BOA was to deliver its wealth of programs over the next year "to make sure athletes have the best chance to perform".

    "Everything is on track. We are confident in the sports' preparations for the Games."

    London Names New Olympic Park Neighborhoods
    Chobham Manor, Eastwick, Marshgate Wharf, Sweetwater and Pudding Mill are the five suburbs that will occupy London's Olympic Park after the Games.

    A panel including Olympic organizers, representatives from the neighboring boroughs and local residents selected the names from almost 2,000 suggestions put forward in a recent competition.

    "The public has given a new piece of London its identity, where communities will grow in five new neighborhoods alongside the spectacular venues and open spaces created for the Games," Olympic Park Legacy Company CEO Andrew Altman said.

    According to BBC News, Plastic Fantastic, Dog and Bike, Little Athens and Redgravia were among the suggestions for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park shot down by the panel.

    London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "It's great that these new neighborhoods will have the stamp of Londoners firmly imprinted upon them, thanks to the enthusiasm and inspiration of those who entered and judged this competition.

    "The new names reflect not only the rich industrial history of this quarter of London but also the new future which has been secured by the Games."

    The five neighborhoods will open to the public in phases from 2013, with families moving into the first new homes in 2015. Over the next 20 years, they will accommodate about 8,000 new homes.

    Chobham Manor is the first neighborhood to be created after next year's Games.

    Located between the velopark and the athletes village in the north-east of the Olympic Park, it will be centred around 800 new homes and 3,000 sq m of community and ancillary facilities, including a polyclinic, two nurseries and a community centre.

    Rowing Tests Eton Dorney
    The 2011 World Rowing Junior Championships open today at Eton Dorney, acting as a test event for next year's Olympics.

    A total of 48 countries and 578 athletes, the majority of rowers 18-years-old, are competing on the Olympic
    Finish line at Eton Dorney (LOCOG)
    regatta course from Aug. 3 to 7.

    The USA and Germany are both fielding full teams with entries in all 13 events. Great Britain is entered in eight events. Most rowers are racing at international level for the first time.

    Some of the competitors are returning for up to the fourth time. Lucy Grinalds of the United States is at her fourth junior worlds. Last year she took silver in the women's four and she is back in the same boat this year. Natalia Sanchez Rojas of Chile has raced at the last two junior worlds in the single and will do so again at Eton.

    Germany finished atop the medals table in the 2010 event and are expected to do well again over the next four days.
    Finals will be spread over the last two days of the regatta.

    The regatta venue is the same eight-laned man-made course that hosted the 2006 World Rowing Championships. The international rowing federation has overseen minor changes to the venue over the last last couple of years to bring it up to Olympic standard.

    Sailing Test at Weymouth and Portland
    Also underway is the Olympic test event for sailing. The Weymouth and Portland International Regatta is hosting sailors from 60 nations at the venue, which is located on the south coast of England around two hours from London.

    A total of 170 races are scheduled for the test event, which runs through Sunday.

    Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour was the first London Games venue to be finished. Next year, it will host 10 Olympic sailing events.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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