Paris security fears played down as Australia reveals Olympics uniform with 100 days to go

<span>The Australian Olympic Committee has marked 100 days to go until the Paris Games by revealing the team’s official uniform.</span><span>Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images</span>
The Australian Olympic Committee has marked 100 days to go until the Paris Games by revealing the team’s official uniform.Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Australia’s chef de mission for the Paris Olympics, Anna Meares, has played down security fears, as her team’s preparations entered the final straight with 100 days to go before the Games are declared open.

On Wednesday, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) unveiled the team’s official uniform, which will be worn by athletes travelling on a flotilla of barges down the Seine as part of an elaborate and unconventional opening ceremony on 26 July.

Related: Paris Olympics opening ceremony could move if threat detected, says Macron

Security fears have been raised over the prospect of a 300,000-strong crowd watching from the river’s banks, and earlier this week the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said the event could be moved to the Stade de France in the north of the city if there was a threat of a terrorist attack.

After the Bondi Junction attack and an alleged church stabbing in Sydney over the weekend, concern over public safety is heightened on home soil, but Meares said while putting on an Olympic Games was “an enormous undertaking”, she had faith in the organisers’ ability to keep athletes and fans in Paris safe.

“Whilst security is at the forefront of our planning and it’s a major priority for us, we trust that the organising committee and the French government will do a good job in providing a safe and secure Games,” Meares said.

“We are able to update our athletes as we get updates as well. That’s definitely the first question that gets asked.”

Meares said it was important for athletes and staff to remain as flexible and adaptable as possible.

“We saw a great example of that with Tokyo in 2020 – the ability to be able to adapt, given any circumstance that happens,” she said.

“Best laid plans are always good to have but we’re adaptable and we’re prepared to move with that and that’s part of being resilient and part of being in high performance.”

Fifty-five athletes have already qualified to represent Australia in Paris, and that number is expected to grow rapidly as the Games approach. Meares put a final total between 460 and 480, but the exact number would be decided by the individual sporting organisations.

Those that do book their tickets to Paris will wear a uniform “inspired by the unmistakable essence of Paris, with fashion at the forefront”, according to an AOC press release.

The opening ceremony blazer, described as the “hero piece” of the collection, includes the Australian Olympians oath on the inside pocket, with the names of all 301 Australian Olympic champions throughout the jacket lining.

The outfits also feature artwork by Indigenous boxer Paul Fleming and Torres Strait Island artist David Bosun.

Also on the 100-day milestone, Australia was predicted to have its most successful Olympics for 20 years. Gracenote, which compiles a virtual medal table by using results data from key global and continental competitions since the Tokyo Olympics, put Australia fifth for Paris with a total of 50 medals – 13 gold, 19 silver and 18 bronze.

Asked what metrics Australian performances would be measured against this year, given the AOC’s move away from fixed medal targets, Meares said she was keeping an open mind.

“What I really like is our swimming head coach’s line on this one – ‘we’ll take as many medals as we can win.’ Why put a limitation on it?”