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It's game on as barracks secures Olympic shooting

PUBLISHED: 15:18 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:17 25 August 2010

AN OLYMPIC board has ditched plans to build a temporary £42 million London 2012 venue near the O2 arena.

AN OLYMPIC board has ditched plans to build a temporary £42 million London 2012 venue near the O2 arena.

Before the final decision was taken last Thursday Tessa Jowell and Boris Johnson's had already hatched a plan to move the badminton and rhythmic gymnastics events from an unbuilt venue on the Greenwich Peninsula to Wembley Arena.

Now, the proposal has to be agreed by the international badminton and gymnastic federations and is due to be approved in December by the International Olympic Committee if both parties accept.

The board have now decided to keep the shooting events at the Woolwich Barracks despite initial opposition from Mr Johnson to move them to a cheaper alternative in Barking.

A statement from the Olympic Board read: "The Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich is confirmed as the venue for Olympic and Paralympic Shooting and Paralympic Archery. The Olympic Delivery Authority will submit the planning application for Woolwich in next few weeks.

"The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, identified as a potential alternative London 2012 venue location due to its proximity to the Olympic Park, has been identified as a suitable location for training venues and other operations in 2012. Further details will be announced in the new year."

Greenwich is also set to host the equestrian games in Greenwich Park and basketball at the O2.

A spokesperson for the Labour council refused to comment on the decision to axe the building of the badminton venue but added: "The council has worked to maintain three Olympic locations in the borough - Greenwich Park, Greenwich Peninsula and Woolwich.

"We are delighted to have achieved this."

Leader of Greenwich council Chris Roberts said: "We have said all along that Woolwich is the ideal venue to host the shooting events. Today's decision also enables Britain to demonstrate that it is capable of honouring the commitments it makes to international sports federations. This can only assist the England bid to host the World Cup in 2018.

"The barracks are a truly iconic location which will provide spectators at the event and television viewers across the world with an unforgettable experience.

"Woolwich's links with the Royal Artillery dating back to the 18th century, together with its role as home to the Royal Arsenal, once the largest armaments factory in the world, make Woolwich the ideal place to celebrate the skills and sportsmanship of shooting.

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