Simon Clegg: We had an excellent day of competition in Baku 2015 VIDEO

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Baku, June 23, AZERTAC

A daily press conference has been held here with participation of Baku 2015 Chief Operating Officer Simon CLEGG and 3x3 basketball athletes Orla O’REILLY and Angel Santana.

Simon Clegg said: "We had an excellent day of competition. The track and field started at the Olympic Stadium. The first of two days of athletics competition attracted a really good level of attendance. Over 22,000 people attended the Olympic Stadium for that event.

"There was the continuation of the (cycling) road race, which involved closures throughout the city centre with some disruption as expected, but which were kept to a minimum. The pictures which went round the world were incredibly powerful and demonstrated the beauty of the city and the old city.

"Two other venues - gymnastics at the National Gymnastics Arena and water polo at the Water Polo Arena - had the last day of competition and there were successful transitions at the Heydar Aliyev Arena from wrestling to sambo, and the Baku Sports Hall in terms of badminton (from table tennis)."

On the number of spectators:

"Yesterday we had 48,811 spectators, which was the highest of the Games so far. There were 19 sports sessions over 10 venues. There were good attendances particularly at Crystal Hall, the Olympic Stadium and the Baku Aquatics Centre. Over the venues in operation we had 86 per cent attendance levels.

"In some sports we have made additional tickets available where we have been able to increase capacity in some venues."

On arrivals and departures from Baku:

"As you would expect at this time of the Games, many more people are departing Baku than arriving. Today 304 athletes and officials are due to arrive but we are expecting 1,288 departures."

On the work of the volunteers:

"I have to pay credit to the fantastic work the Flamekeepers are doing. Everybody is feeling a bit tired now. They are doing a fantastic job. The feedback we are getting back is that the Flamekeepers are magnificent and making a positive contribution."

On anticipated attendances:

"Looking forward, we anticipate an expected 40,000 spectators across all venues today. We have archery, athletics, sambo and shooting completing their competition."

On the weather forecast: "Baku will be living up to its name as the windy city with forecasts of 44km (per hour winds) from the north gusting to 59km an hour, but we do not anticipate any real issues or concerns for us."

On the innovations at Baku 2015: "One of the things we have said is we are not trying to replicate the Olympic Games. The new selling point for this new vision of the European Organising Committees is that we are trying to bring in innovation and creativity.

"One of the innovations is to have a mixed programme of Olympic and non-Olympic sports. Sambo is starting, then there is 3x3 basketball, which is very exciting, very fast moving, very dynamic and very spectator friendly."

On whether the decision to have all the gymnastics disciplines the same day worked: "The gymnastics taking place simultaneously was a concept that came to the table from the European Gymnastics Federation. Generally people were positive about the experience and the way it showcased the sport of gymnastics inside the stadium and on television as well.

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