Games poser for London

LONDON - London 2012 Olympic organisers, worried about demands from sporting bodies and the need to cut costs in one of the most severe economic downturns for decades, are still trying to decide where to house some sports for the Games.

LONDON - London 2012 Olympic organisers, worried about demands from sporting bodies and the need to cut costs in one of the most severe economic downturns for decades, are still trying to decide where to house some sports for the Games.

Question marks hang over where boxing, badminton, shooting and rhythmic gymnastics will end up.

Other sports have already had to be moved.

The cause of some of the changes stretches back to 2005 when London unexpectedly won the bid.

Then, the economy was booming, but London now finds itself in a recession, saddled with over-ambitious legacy promises and over-optimistic costings that organisers are trying to scale back, experts say.

"They hadn't really planned a bid on the basis that it would win, which means they developed a blue-sky project without really thinking what it would cost and when the harsh realities set in they've had to chop and change quite severely," said Stefan Szymanski, professor of economics at Cass Business School, City University London.

While organisers failed to meet the International Olympic Committee's March deadline to settle all the venues, London is unlikely to see the last-minute panic of Athens 2004 as construction of all other venues is on track.

"This is the final, final decision. Everything else is locked down and I think we are simply in the process of trading off all the objectives across legacy, cost and sporting experience to come to the right answer," organising committee chief executive Paul Deighton said. - Reuters

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