Meares satisfied with Paris security ahead of Olympics

Australia's chef de mission Anna Meares is confident athletes will remain safe at the Paris Olympics, despite unrest in France following the general election.

Violent clashes broke out in Paris when people took to the streets to celebrate a shock win in the general election for the country's left-wing coalition at the weekend.

With the Games set to begin on July 26, the first-time national team boss says security plans put in place by the French authorities and the Australian Olympic Committee are adequate to keep athletes safe, should there be more trouble on the streets during the Olympics.

"We know that there's been unrest and riots and protests in Paris. This is normal. This is how they express themselves," Meares said on Wednesday at her departure media conference in Sydney.

"We have great faith in the French authorities and in the security that they're putting in place. We've got our own plans in place.

"The threat level is as high as it can be and has been in the past, but that just means they can act quickly when required.

"There will be more security on ground in Paris and that's very okay. That makes us, makes me feel more safe."

The water quality of the River Seine for the triathlon and marathon swimming events remains another logistical headache ahead of the Games.

River Seine
Water quality in the River Seine remains a headache for Paris Olympics organisers.

Pollution levels in the river were found to be too high for swimming last month, but Meares says daily testing suggests the quality has improved.

"At the moment, it is safe to swim in," she said.

The marathon swimming could be moved to the Olympic rowing venue, and the triathlon changed to a bike-run duathlon, should the water quality in the Seine deteriorate at that time.

Athletes will be offered air conditioning units for their stay in the Olympic Village as part of the Australian team's heat mitigation strategies.

The village buildings have not been fitted with air conditioning in a bid to reduce the city's carbon footprint, instead relying on a system of pipes that pump cold water to cool rooms instead.

More than 2400 meat pies and a Woolworths-stocked pantry will also be on offer for Australia's Olympians in the village.

Those concerned about getting their coffee fix need not worry, with the country's Olympic Committee supplying enough beans to make 20,000 coffee shots.


* 460 athletes in total across 33 sports

* 256 women, 204 men, 231 debutants, 10 Indigenous athletes

* Biggest sports within the team: athletics with 75 athletes, swimming with 44, rowing with 37 and hockey with 32.

* 10 athletes under the age of 18, three of those are under 16.

* Youngest athlete is Arisa Trew at 14, competing in skateboarding.

* Oldest athlete is Shane Rose at 51, competing in equestrian.

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