OLYMPICS: COE INSISTS VENUES ARE FULL OF SPECTATORS

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Soldiers sit in the empty seats held by the IOC as they watch the women's gymnastics qualification in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT GYMNASTICS)

LONDON, July 29:(AFP) – The chairman of the London Olympics, Sebastian Coe, insisted on Sunday that most venues were full of spectators as organisers launched a probe into blocks of empty seats at some events.

Coe said unoccupied seats at some venues were due to accredited officials still working out which events to attend and planning their timetable, but he said he had visited four events on Saturday which were full to capacity.

“Let us put this in perspective. Those venues are stuffed to the gunnels. The public are in there,” Coe told journalists.

“There are tens of thousands of people at this moment within the accredited ‘family’ that are trying to figure out what their day looks like, where they are going to be asked to go to, frankly working out how you divide your time.

“Certainly this is not going to be an issue through the Games. “This is not unfamiliar in the preliminary rounds.”

Coe said however that local organisers LOCOG were urgently seeking ways of filling any empty seats. He said soldiers involved in the security operation were given spare seats at gymnastics events on Sunday morning.

Students and teachers from east London were also allocated seats at some unfilled venues.

LOCOG and the International Olympic Committee launched an investigation on Saturday, the first full day of action, after there were blocks of unoccupied seats at the tennis held at Wimbledon and at swimming in the Aquatics Centre.

The empty seats have angered many people in Britain who were left disappointed in the massively oversubscribed ticket ballots ahead of the Games, the first to be held in London for 64 years.
(National News Agency – RSS – Nepal @ 2012)