Wednesday 20 November 2019

'Rock on' say Olympic chiefs despite protests over loud music

Fionnuala Britton in the 10000M final last night.
Fionnuala Britton in the 10000M final last night.

Martyn Ziegler

IT may upset the purists, but athletics chiefs have given their blessing to London 2012 playing loud pop music even during races in the Olympic Stadium.

Organisers have gone to some lengths to create a buzz at all the venues, with music playing a key role in that, but the practice of blasting out music actually during races has raised eyebrows in some quarters.

The final of the women's 10,000m on Friday night saw loud dance music being played at times during the race even though there was no lack of atmosphere with a capacity crowd inside the stadium.

At least one International Olympic Committee figure has questioned the need for the music to be extended beyond the breaks in the sporting action, however the IAAF, the international federation for athletics, are comfortable with the practice.

Nick Davies, communications director for the IAAF, told the Press Association: "The IAAF is very happy with the atmosphere at the venues and the music is part of the event experience. We are confident that the majority of the 80,000 spectators are having a great time."

London 2012 say they will monitor the events to make sure the music is not intrusive but that they have agreed the sports presentation packages with all the federations. They add that music has been played during races at major events going back 20 years.

Jackie Brock-Doyle, the London 2012 communications director, said: "In terms of the music, if people are not liking it then, of course, we will have a look at it, but we have actually had loads of really positive feedback about the atmosphere and the music in the venue.

"We have looked across all sports at how we can add better information, and a lot of music and colour. Each one has been signed off and gone through with each of the sports federations."

In basketball, the music is a key part of the experience but is usually limited to the breaks in play.

Patrick Baumann, secretary general of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), said: "I maybe agree that it is loud but that is a personal view. The spectators really love it - and it does not bother the players and the athletes."

PA Media

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