Exclusive: London 2012 hit back at FILA President's wrestling legacy criticism
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
December 14 - London 2012 have hit back at criticism from the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) President Raphaël Martinetti (pictured) who last week claimed that there will be no wrestling legacy from the Olympics.
Martinetti, who was in the capital at the weekend attending the Olympic wrestling test event at the ExCeL Arena, said there would be no physical legacy for the sport in Britain after 2012 and attacked the decision by London 2012 to hire equipment for the Games on a temporary basis.
"After the Games I hoped there would be a legacy," said the Swiss businessman.
"But, for example, there are 25 wrestling mats to be used, and according to the contract that London 2012 has with the company that sent the mats, after the Games these wrestling mats go back to France with the company.
"I think that is totally stupid.
"If you have 25 wrestling mats, for the legacy the mats should stay in the country.
"In every country that organises the Games, generally the mats go to that country.
"These mats should be distributed to the clubs."
But London 2012 have refuted such claims and stated that there will be equipment donated to British Wrestling after the Games.
"Equipment used for wrestling are mats and practice dummies," a London 2012 spokeswoman told insidethegames.
"The latter is a specialist bit of sports equipment that is in short supply in the UK and used in wrestling and judo.
"The dummies are made of heavy duty leather and are used in training to develop technique and strength for throwing.
"They are expensive items and London 2012 is donating a substantial amount of training dummies to the British Wrestling and British Judo national governing bodies (NGB) to use after the Games.
"In terms of wrestling mats, we have hired this equipment for use at the test event, for training venues and for Games time.
"These are standard mats which will be returned to the supplier after the Games.
"This equipment is not London 2012's to sell or re-hire."
It was also stated that London 2012 will have legacy venues in place for wrestling.
"The Handball Arena in the Olympic Park will be the legacy venue for wrestling after the Games," said the spokeswoman.
"It will be used as a multisport venue which will include use for wrestling training and competition.
"The Games time training venue for wrestling is Redbridge Leisure Centre.
"This has created local interest in the sport at a venue more renowned for racket sports and team sports."
London 2012 added that Olympic wrestling ticketholders constantly receive emails giving them the opportunity to get more involved in the sport.
"All tickets currently available for wrestling sold out in the first two rounds of ticket sales earlier this year – more will be available when the contingency tickets are put on sale next year," added the spokeswoman.
"Every ticketholder receives an email with a module devoted to each sport for which they have tickets.
"Each carries a call to action to click through to Sport England's Beyond the Games site, which has info about watching and playing the sport and a chance to sign up to the NGB mailing list.
"All wrestling ticketholders will have received this email."
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