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SBD Global/April 26, 2013/Events and Attractions

Russia To Use Metal Detectors On Marathon Course At IAAF World Championships

Russian organizers said that metal detectors for spectators "will be installed along the entire marathon course at the world athletics championships in August as part of increased security following last week's Boston bombings," according to Gennady Fyodorov of REUTERS. Russian Athletics President Valentin Balakhnichyov said, "It definitely has given us an extra headache. The security will certainly be reviewed after what happened in Boston. Airports, hotels, the transit system, places where you have lots of people, are always vulnerable." Balakhnichyov said the capital would have a "triple level of protection" during the Aug. 10-18 championships. He said, "The first level would be the Federal Security Service and the police, then we have the city's own security personnel, and, finally, the security in and around the stadium. At the same time we don't want to make Moscow a ghost town. We must make sure that spectators, including foreign guests, are not scared away by overzealous policing." Filling the spacious Luzhniki stadium "is the other major concern" for the local organizers. The championships "will be the last international event taking place at Luzhniki." After that, the arena, built in '56 and named after Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, "will be closed for major renovations" for the 2018 World Cup. Balakhnichyov said that the arena's capacity of 78,000 "would be cut by half for the championships." He said, "If you take away seats occupied by TV commentators, print media and the VIPs, we'll have a capacity of about 35,000. I think this is a good target for us to fill all those seats" (REUTERS, 4/25).
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