By Tom Degun in London


October 31 - Boris Johnson (pictured) has again given his backing to move badminton and rhythmic gymnastics to Wembley Arena after he told insidethegames that staging the sports at the North West London venue was the cheapest option.


Badminton and rhythmic gymnastics seem certain to be relocated to Wembley Arena for the London 2012 Olympics after organisers recently agreed to scrap a £40 million temporary venue in Greenwich to help keep costs down as reported by insidethegames.

And despite opposition to the move from the badminton and gymnastics international federations because of the amount of time that players would need to spend travelling from the Olympic Village in East London to Wembley Arena, the London Mayor maintains his firm stance.

Johnson said: "I think it’s crazy not to use a wonderful facility.

"Wembley Arena is a very distinguished sporting facility I mean; it’s where Ali fought Cooper [in a non-title fight in 1963].

"I think the World Badminton Championships are going to be there anyway [when London hosts the 19th  Badminton World Championships in 2011] so it seems to me to be an obvious choice that we hold high profile events such as the badminton and the rhythmic gymnastics there during the London Olympic Games."


Johnson also maintained that cutting costs in these harsh economic times was a huge factor in the decision-making process to relocate the two sports to Wembley Arena.

He told insidethegames: "It’s the cheapest option so that is what we are going to do."


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