Coe denies Olympic torch decision is done

Seb Coe has denied suggestions the final torchbearer for this week's Olympic opening ceremony has already been decided.

Eurosport

He also claimed that the creative team behind the ceremony will make a final judgement, not a 'gang of two' consisting of Locog chief executive Paul Deighton and Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt, as appeared to be suggested by the British Olympic Association.

"It will be a judgment made by our creative teams, which are led by Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry," said Coe.

"Do I have a view on this personally or privately? Yes, of course. But have we made a judgment about this, no we haven't."

Coe, who has no part in the decision-making process, has previously expressed a preference for two-time decathlon gold medallist Daley Thompson, who carries the torch this week, to have the honour, claiming he considers him Britain's greatest Olympian and also his 'great mate'.

In contrast the BOA believe the prized job should go to Sir Steve Redgrave, the five-time Olympic gold medallist and, currently, Team GB's most decorated Olympian.

And BOA chief executive Andy Hunt appeared to suggest that it was he and Deighton who had the final say on who would get the honour - and appeared to hint a decision had already been made.

"It's a joint decision and discussions have taken place over quite some time. The ceremonies committee will and have made recommendations, which we can choose to support or not," said Hunt.

"The debate is on-going, but there is a mutually acceptable solution. All the debate has been very positive but it's a big topic.

"I can't disclose the criteria we used but I'm sure everyone will be immensely proud with the outcome of the debates we had. It will be a wow moment and we don't have long to wait."

Redgrave, who carried the Olympic flame in Henley earlier this month, has said he believes a group of athletes will be involved - like the members of the 1980 USA 'Miracle on Ice' ice hockey team, who lit the flame at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Meanwhile, rehearsals for Boyle's £30 million showpiece opening - titled Isles of Wonder - are continuing throughout this week, with reports of creative tensions running high between his team and the Olympic Broadcasting Service, which is responsible for beaming to show to a watching audience of one billion worldwide.

Some athletes trying to sleep in the nearby Olympic village have complained about the noise of helicopters hovering over the stadium as producers tested aerial broadcast shots, while every night the stadium glows a different colour and loud music can be heard across the site, with a full dress rehearsal, attended by volunteers, scheduled for later in the week.

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