Peace declared over Olympic marathon route

Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:07am EST
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By Avril Ormsby

LONDON (Reuters) - London 2012 organizers will no longer face legal action over the route for the marathon after striking a deal with a local council which had argued it could be left with no events, despite being in the shadow of the Olympic Park.

Tower Hamlets dropped its call for a judicial review after the London organizing committee (LOCOG) agreed to concessions on Wednesday, including better job opportunities for locals and helping schoolchildren become more involved at test events.

But just as one potential legal threat receded, another gathered momentum as Leyton Orient football club said it was consulting lawyers over the decision to allow West Ham United to inherit the main Olympic stadium after the Games.

Tower Hamlets had sought a judicial review after LOCOG decided to route the marathon around the capital's landmarks, beginning and ending outside Buckingham Palace, bypassing the less picturesque east London.

Tower Hamlets had accused the organization of being "ashamed of the very communities who helped London win the Games."

"There is no better way to celebrate and showcase London's ethnic diversity than to have the world's best athletes run past the mosques, churches, temples and cultural centers that make up the fabric of East End life," it had said in a letter last year.

LOCOG insisted the re-routing from the main stadium would help traffic flow and be less of an impact on other sports taking place at the venue and across London.

On Wednesday, the two parties signed a letter of agreement which would give locals extra notice if jobs came onto the market, and give schoolchildren the chance of being involved in test events and ceremonies rehearsals.   Continued...