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Hampden test run for Games marred by huge queues

A PRESTIGIOUS athletics event viewed as a test run for Commonwealth Games events was yesterday marred by huge queues to get into the venue.

Spectators took to social media to vent their anger after experiencing lengthy waits to get through security into Hampden Park for the Glasgow Grand Prix event.

The park was converted from a football stadium into an athletics arena for Glasgow 2014. It will host the track and field competitions, which take place for seven days from July 27, as well as the Closing Ceremony on August 3.

According to reports on Twitter, many people were waiting to get through one door and the security screening process as the Diamond League athletics event got under way just before 2pm yesterday.

One comment on Twitter read: "There's a lot of very annoyed people outside of Hampden right now. Thousands queuing for what appears to be one entrance for Diamond League."

Kevin Lang, from Edinburgh, said there were "massive queues" to get into Hampden with 20 minutes to go until the event started. He got in after a 30-minute wait.

He added: "Hope @Glasgow2014 are more organised".

Terry Charleton, from Aberdeen, said: "Another great afternoon at the athletics (once we got in).

"Chaos at Hampden today, terrible organisation...need to step up for @Glasgow 2014."

Another tweet said: "Queue to get into the @sainsburys #GlasgowGP is atrocious due to slow security checks. Let's hope it's not like this for @Glasgow2014."

The event, which also took place on Friday night, featured top international names as Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake and Kenyan runner David Rudisha, as well as homegrown track and field stars, including Eilidh Child, who won the 400m hurdles on Friday night, steeplechaser Eilish McColgan and Paralympic silver medallist Libby Clegg.

Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah was due to attend the meet, but had to withdraw due to illness.

Last night, a spokeswoman for event owner UK Athletics (UKA) said the delays had been caused by the "stop and search" procedure, but said further inquiries should be referred to Glasgow 2014 which was managing these arrangements.

She added: "British Athletics has enjoyed the opportunity to bring world-class athletics to Glasgow's Hampden Park with the Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix.

"We've been delighted to be part of the build up and final preparations for Glasgow 2014, and will share our experiences to ensure the spectators at the Commonwealth Games have a great time at the athletics."

A spokesman for Glasgow 2014 said: "It is important to note that venue configurations and security will be different at Games time.

"For everyone's safety and enjoyment of the Games, all spectators will pass through an airport-style screening process for prohibited and restricted items before being allowed into venues.

"It is important that spectators allow plenty of time for travel and security checks so that they can fully enjoy their Games experience and the fantastic world-class sport on offer.

"We encourage everyone to review the spectator guide provided with their tickets and use the venue-specific guide which is available on the Glasgow 2014 website for specific information about each venue."

He added: "It's been fantastic seeing the athletics field of play we've installed in Hampden Park burst into life this weekend and we now can't wait for all the great athletes of the Commonwealth to compete for gold and glory right here in Glasgow in two weeks' time.

"It is important to be aware that there were a number of differences in arrangements to this event and how the venue will be operated and managed at Games time."

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