LONDON – A beach volleyball test event for the 2012 London Olympics was rescheduled to finish almost three hours early Tuesday because of security concerns after three days of rioting and looting in the British capital.
Organizers decided to use two courts instead of one for Tuesday's 12 matches so that spectators, staff and volunteers could leave before dark. One of the two practice courts at Horse Guards Parade in central London was available for matches.
FIVB Beach Volleyball Director Angelo Squeo, who was on site during the Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Games, said he consulted with high-ranking London Olympic organizers and police before making the decision.
"I follow what they tell me what we should do in order to be safe," Squeo told The Associated Press. "I will do whatever in order to not put in danger — not even risk putting in danger — anybody here.
"We don't want the volunteers — some 13 years old or 14 years old — to be involved in these kind of things."
Squeo said event planning had developed considerably since the 1996 Summer Games, where a backpack bomb killed one person.
"In Atlanta, we had the bomb and I was left with 11,000 people outside the venue and I did not know if I had the green light or red light," Squeo said. "Now there are contingencies. At the time there was nothing. It was, 'OK, let them in, no let them out.'"