1. Home
  2. Sports
  3. Other
  4. Athletes Start Trickling Into Games Village

Athletes Start Trickling Into Games Village

With athletes trickling into New Delhi and cleaning crews rushing to scour their rooms, the Commonwealth Games organisers are working hard to ensure it is prepared to host the beleaguered sporting event - though much
PTI September 27, 2010 13:23 IST
PTI
With athletes trickling into New Delhi and cleaning crews rushing to scour their rooms, the Commonwealth Games organisers are working hard to ensure it is prepared to host the beleaguered sporting event - though much remains to be done.

Talk emerged over the past week of postponing or cancelling the games after a footbridge collapsed, two tourists were shot and the athletes' village was found to be filthy.

But that discussion dissipated after the government poured enormous resources into urgently addressing the problems before the opening ceremonies on October 3rd.  

Among the ongoing concerns was water remaining in the basements in the athletes' village, transportation and technology difficulties, and issues with security and fire safety, he said.  

The multi-sport games, held every four years, bring together competitors from across the former British empire.  Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia said the mosquito-borne dengue virus remained a concern, but "we have things in control."  

Despite the problems, athletes and team officials continued to arrive in the city on Sunday, with the delegation from Trinidad and Tobago, and athletes from the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales and Guyana joining a group of English athletes who had arrived the day before.

The English team, meanwhile, which had checked into hotels last week because of the filthy conditions, said they would begin moving into the athletes' village on Sunday.  

A team statement said support staff would be the first occupants "to ensure that conditions continue to be on track" for the athletes, who move in Monday.  

"It's not a five star, it's, you know, a reasonable three star and athletes are fine with that," team leader Craig Hunter said.

Chris Jenkins, chef de mission, Wales contingent said: "It came very well on the game lane, that was very good, very secure, very well protected. The athletes were very impressed, we felt very safe. Then we came on the new section of the road, from the athletic stadium to very close to the village. It's the first time I've seen that 'cause it's opened just for the games traffic, I think."

Several teams that had delayed their trips have confirmed their athletes will be attending.  Two more Australian athletes withdrew on Sunday and a South African competitor reportedly found a snake in his room.  Cyclist Travis Meyer and table tennis player Stephanie Sang became the second and third Australians to pull out, following the withdrawal last week of discus world champion Dani Samuels.  

The games were meant to be a coming out party for India to cement its reputation as a growing regional power.  Instead, the nation's reputation has been battered by negative publicity about its frantic last-minute efforts to get ready for an event it knew it was hosting seven years ago.  AP