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Boston Marathon bombing

Boston Marathon Explosions

As a reaction to the Boston Marathon tragedy, major upcoming events are reconsidering their security measures...

April 16, 2013 3:51 by

“We still don’t know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,” says US President Barack Obama.

His words were in response to two fatal explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday. The bombings have resulted (at the time of publication) in the death of three people – one of which was a child – and left 140 injured.  Some of the wounded are hospitalised with serious and critical conditions.

A report by The National suggests there were ‘as many as 11 UAE residents participating in the marathon yesterday’ but they are reportedly safe. They’d managed to cross the finishing line minutes before the explosions took place. Dubai resident Helmut Raukuttis crossed the finish line less than four minutes before the first two bombs went off.

What was meant to be a day of sports and triumph has ended up in senseless loss. And this tragedy got us – along with the rest of the globe – thinking about how the world is changing, and the world of sport in particular.

The Hillsborough Disaster in 1989, among many other sporting and public events that were scarred through violence over the past few decades, has opened our eyes to how important security and safety are. And yet, tragedies like these continue to happen.

At the very least, if there is but one outcome the world can hope to rise out of Boston’s tragedy, it is a strong wake-up call. A reminder that regardless of how rigid organisers and governments feel their security plans are, there is always a risk.

Today, London’s Metropolitan Police announced its security plan for the London Marathon this weekend will need to be reviewed. Russian sports officials have also said they plan to beef up security at upcoming sports events and the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

“Our security measures are tough as they are,” Mikhail Butov, secretary general of the Russian Athletics Federation told the Associated Press. “But when it’s clear what actually happened (in Boston), we will draw our conclusions.”

Whether it’s Qatar’s 2020 World Cup, the London Marathon or the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Russia, we can’t stop the constant stream of major sporting events across the world – nor should we have to. One can only hope that the shocking aftermath of this week’s tragedy will resonate long enough for event organisers all around the world to look at themselves and ask “are we safe enough?”

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