Lord's on target for London 2012
LONDON,October 11,2011 -To walk through the Long Room at Lord's is the dream of every cricketer, but this past week, that privilege has also been granted to the world's top archers at the London Classic test event
American Brady Ellison defied the swirling wind and a migraine attack to take gold in the men's individual event , then vowed to recreate Lord's back home as part of his Olympic preparations.
"Of course we are not going to build a giant stadium like this but we want to create a venue so when we step out here next year we don't want to say oh wow this is new.We're not so much worried about the light , it is more what the stands are going to look like where the cameras are going to be, the colours, that kind of thing.'
As confidence boosters go, gold in the individual and the team events fitted the bill perfectly for Ellison. The Koreans enjoyed similar success in the women's competition with individual gold for Dasumi Jung .
Next year Lord's Cricket Ground will be the first London venue to see Olympic action.
'Generally we've been pretty lucky that everything we wanted in place for the games is here now for the test event.'said 2012 Archery competition manager Chris Marsh.
'We will have spectator stands on the main field of play and the video screens either side of the target.'
Veteran cricket journalist Christopher Martin –Jenkins found himself pressed into service in an unusual role . As immediate past president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), he was asked to present the souvenir cricket bats given to all medal winners.
His colleagues in the press watched from the media centre.Built for the 1999 Cricket World Cup, it is still invariably described as 'futuristic and space age'. It is ideally positioned for the ranking rounds with space for 105 journalists, though during the medal competition, a better view is to be had from the pavilion end. The tribune will be on the balcony of the historic nineteenth century pavilion, where 75 tabled positions will be installed as part of the makeover for the is an Olympic even. The normal MCC rules which insist on a jacket and tie will not apply.
Those who found the flight of the arrows somewhat difficult to follow will be pleased to learn that television coverage in 2012 wiil include super slow motion. A camera in the centre of the target will also offer a spectacular perspective.
''I'm pretty sure that people will switch it on because it is at Lord's and will get hooked on the excitement of the match and stay watching. Its our job to make sure they stay watching.'' said World Archery General Secretary Tom Dielen.They have adjusted their match format with the introduction of sets and a twenty second time limit to shoot each arrow.
"It is a major step forward, it makes the matches more exciting and closer." said Dielen.
The IOC review the Olympic programme at their 2013 session in Buenos Aires and Dielen believes that the innovations will ensure Archery remains in the fold.
'If we keep on improving our sport, not sitting back making it friendly for the media, friendly for spectators, if we keep on doing that our place is secure."