No backpacks for Penn Relays

Sport

BY PAUL A REID Observer West Writer Saturday, April 20, 2013

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Following the bombings at Monday’s Boston Marathon that claimed three lives and left scores wounded, the organisers of the 119th Penn Relays have taken pre-emptive steps in beefing up security and will prohibit spectators from taking backpacks into Franklin Field for next weekend’s relay carnival.

A report out of Philadelphia earlier Thursday noted that all backpacks would be banned, but in response to an e-mail from the Jamaica Observer, Associate Director of Athletic Communications Chas Dorman said the ban would not affect members of the media and athletes taking part. “The FoxPhilly report was not complete,” Dorman wrote. “Spectators will be prohibited from brining in backpacks, athletes and media members will be allowed to bring in their equipment bags after clearing security,” Dorman said, before adding that there were more changes to come. “We will have full details on security changes for next week in the next day or so.” An official statement from the University of Pennsylvania said: “Security is always a high priority at the Penn Relays. It is something we take seriously, and given the situation in Boston, additional security measures will be undertaken during this year’s games. We are not, however, going to discuss the specific details around security activities.” Over 100,000 spectators attend the three-day carnival annually with another 22,000 competitors from over 60 countries taking part, including many from Jamaica.

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