Council fight to regain Olympic Marathon

Whitechapel Tube Station Photo: Artemis IgnatidouResidents of Tower Hamlets are ready to take action against the recent decision of the Olympic organizers to exclude their area from the 2012 Olympics Marathon.

The Marathon was initially expected to start on Tower Bridge, then head west into central London before heading out to the Olympic Stadium located at Stratford in the east of London. Instead the new route will begin and finish at the Mall in central London.

In a statement, Tower Hamlets Council said: ‘’Bit by bit the Olympic organisers have chipped away at the borough’s involvement.’’

On the streets of Tower Hamlets, Rana Miah,  a sales assistant at a local shop, said the change in the route had taken place because the organisers has not wanted to show the show the poverty of Tower Hamlets and the people of a multi-ethnic area. She said: ”They only want the one that portrays the affluent rich areas like Kensington, show the world ‘the façade’ not the real people of London. I am going to lobby my council and say, ‘why are we getting betrayed?’’

Ray Metint, a shop owner, added: ‘It’s bad for business obviously; initially when it started we were supposed to take the advantage of it and due to the incompetence of Tower Hamlets we are losing the benefits of the Olympics, really. I only found out about that this morning so I am obviously going to talk to my MP to see what we can do.’’

An online poll and a petition supporting the return of the Marathon to the area on the Tower Hamlets website showed that 86 per cent of people supported the return of the Marathon to the borough. A support group has also been created on Facebook

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