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World counts down to London Games

World counts down to London Games

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The Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Lord Sebastian Coe, poses with a prototype of the London 2012 Olympic Torch at St Pancras station in London. Celebrations marked the one-year countdown yesterday. Photo by: Reuters

The 2012 Olympics and Paralympics crossed the one year to go mark yesterday, as London prepares to host the world’s biggest sports event. In a press release sent to the British Embassy in Phnom Penh, British Foreign Secretary William Hague promised “a show to remember”.

“It is six years since the UK first won the privilege to host the Games in Singapore, and it has been a remarkable journey since,” wrote Hague.

“Everything is on track. Construction of the major venues is complete, a year ahead of Games time.  We are on budget, on time and set to deliver a great summer of sport and culture.”

The Secretary revealed that over 3.5 million tickets had already been sold, while thousands had signed up to volunteer with hundreds more nominated to bear the Olympic flame during its 70-day journey across the British Isles.

Hague also highlighted the tournament’s global appeal with an estimated 4 billion people set to view television broadcasts, and referenced two promising female athletes that held some of the Kingdom’s biggest hopes for qualification.

“For the two months of Olympic and Paralympic sport next summer, in every home and on every radio and television, the Games will be shared and enjoyed by the world,” he said.

“That’s why, as President Rogge invites Cambodia’s athletes to Britain in 2012, and as Ms Sorn Davin and Ms Chov Sotheara start training for taekwondo and wrestling events [respectively], I want to invite the people of Cambodia to be a part of this momentous occasion too.”

British Ambassador to Cambodia, Andrew Mace, shared the excitement at reaching the milestone of “only one year to go until the eyes of the world are focussing on the London 2012 Olympics.”

The Ambassador noted that they had “already been getting into the spirit with events,” including a celebration at Olympic Stadium of the 500-day countdown.   

Embassy staff and the representatives of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia were joined by children and supporters of the Indochina Starfish Foundation on March 19 to run “500 laps to London” and released 500 balloons in the colours of the Olympic rings.

The Ambassador and staff also took part in the 5km run organised during the first Olympic Day Phnom Penh Half Marathon on June 18.

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