Teams begin to arrive in Delhi for Games

24th Sep 2010
Teams begin to arrive in Delhi for Games

Athletes from around the world have begun to arrive in New Delhi ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

With fears of a cancellation fading, teams have begun final preparations before the opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 3rd.

Pictured: Facilities are in place, argue officials

Team England has led the way, with representatives from the 17 member sports unanimously agreeing they will travel to Delhi as planned.

In a statement Commonwealth Games England said: “We are seeing the improved levels of resourcing required to resolve the operational issues.

“We’ll monitor the situation to ensure the village and stadia are safe.”

Organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi has also remained upbeat, arguing the athletes’ village is now ready for the 7,000 athletes and team officials it will accommodate during the event.

“We believe there will be no serious complaints anymore,” he explained.

“We believe that no teams will pull out of the Games. I am happy to note that we have already completed delegation registration meetings with 21 teams.”

Organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi is confident the games will proceed

Ongoing Concerns

Despite the warm words, concerns remain over the organisation of the games, with Australian officials questioning the decision to award the event to India.

“The Games should not have been awarded to Delhi in hindsight,” said Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates.

“The problem is the Commonwealth Games Federation is under resourced. It does not have the ability to monitor the progress of cities in the way the International Olympic Committee does.”

He did concede, however, Australian athletes were likely to compete at the event.

While athletes from New Zealand and Canada have delayed their arrival in Delhi, both teams are also likely to be in position to compete before the opening ceremony.

Lalit Bhanot, the secretary general of the Delhi organising committee, has also moved to quell unease over the facilities available.

“The government along with the organising committee have made all efforts to get the place up to the standard that is desirable,” said Mr Bhanot.

“Everything is fine. We have seen the work that has gone on in the past few days and you will see that the standard will be brought to the desired level.”

Build Up

The build-up to the Commonwealth Games has been fraught with difficulties.

Although Delhi was elected to host the event in 2003 it has been marred by construction delays, corruption scandals, a dengue fever outbreak, and, most recently, the collapse of a footbridge near the main stadium and sections of the weightlifting arena.

The shooting on Sunday of two tourists outside a Delhi mosque has also served to heighten security fears, with a number of athletes pulling out as a result.


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