By Duncan Mackay
October 31 - Sebastian Coe (pictured) has marked the 1,000-day countdown to the start of the 2012 Olympics in London by warning that the Games will be upon the capital before it knows it but that everything is on course to deliver what they promised when they were awarded the event four years ago.
London will be the first Summer Games to be held since the worldwide economic crisis and the budget for 2012 has come under severe pressure at times.
But Coe, the chairman of London 2012, insisted that they will host a Games to remember.
He said: "We are on track, we are on budget and the venues are taking shape.
"I don't think that 1,000 days are anything but a blink of an eyelid.
"That will go very quickly but there is nothing that we should have done that we have not done.
"We are where we want to be but we have realised that the last three years are tough years of delivery."
London were awarded the Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Singapore on July 6, 2005, partly because its ambitious plans promised that the event would leave a legacy far greater than any previous Olympics.
Coe said: "I'm entirely confident [of the legacy plans].
"We have not changed our vision because of changed circumstances in the global economy.
"We always said these Games would be delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
"I am satisfied that the central commitments are being delivered."
A series of celebrations - including the BT Tower being lit up with a special pyrotechnic display - will mark the day which is also being set up as a thank-you to those who have helped London 2012 so far.
For the little ones the first London 2012 licensed toy, a Corgi-made replica London bus featured in the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games closing ceremonies, goes on sale in Hamley's to help organisers aiming for a £2 billion target to stage the Games.
Coe said: "We are continuing to raise the necessary funding for the Games.
"We have an operating budget of about £2 billion so we recognise that the amount that we could drawn down from the private sector... was ambitious and realisable.
"Everything we have done to date tells me that it is realisable."
John Armitt (pictured with Coe), the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) which is in charge of building the facilities for the Games, backed up Coe's claim that everything was on track.
He said: "Over 7,000 people are now working on the Olympic Park and Athletes Village and together the team is putting in place the foundations for the sustainable regeneration for the residents of East London.
"People are also feeling the business benefits as the project is continuing to fill order books all over the UK.
"Construction is surging ahead not just on the new sports venues needed for 2012 but also on infrastructure and transport improvements."As we have said many times, 75p in every pound we are spending is for long-term legacy.
"The next phase will be a challenging one across the site but also an exciting one as the Park really starts to take shape.
"I remain confident that we will deliver a world-class stage for the athletes, that LOCOG will stage a brilliant Games and together we will leave a lasting legacy for the people of London and the UK for decades to come."
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