Games chief asks for a positive spin

Britain’s Olympic chief Craig Reedie defended the decision to send the country’s smallest athletics team for 28 years to this summer’s Athens games when he met members of the Sports Journalists’ Association over lunch.

“I don’t think we should be too surprised,” said Reedie. “As qualifying standards get higher, so the numbers who attain those standards are fewer and the winning of medals becomes more difficult.”

He conceded, however, that if London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics was successful there would be a greater clamour for Britain to enter the Olympics football competition.

And on the subject of the bid, he predicted that something would happen between now and the voting next July which could dramatically alter London’s position as second favourites behind Paris.

“I don’t know what it will be,” he said, “but I believe something significant will happen.”

Reedie told the assembled journalists that London’s future was in their hands. “Of all the five bids, we are under the closest media scrutiny. My job is to see the glass half full rather than half empty.”

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