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Foreign Athletes Making Lots Of Fuss: Milkha

New Delhi, Sep 26 : Legendary Milkha Singh today lashed out at the foreign athletes for making too much noise about the living conditions at the Commonwealth Games Village, saying that they can stay at
PTI September 26, 2010 18:14 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Sep 26 : Legendary Milkha Singh today lashed out at the foreign athletes for making too much noise about the living conditions at the Commonwealth Games Village, saying that they can stay at hotels if they don't like the accommodation.

"I think we are getting dominated by our guests. I have also been to number of countries and there have been times when the arrangements were not very good but we never made such a fuss out of it," Milkha told PTI.

"I think India is giving in to the demands of our guests a little too much. The guests cannot dictate us. If they (foreign athletes) don't like the arrangements they should go and stay in the hotels," said the 81-year-old.

The build-up to the Games has been marred by controversies with the Games' Village being termed by some foreign officials as "filthy and unlivable". There was a firing incident at two foreign nationals and a footbridge collapsed near the main venue.

 Milkha, the only Indian who has won a gold in Commonwealth Games track and field event, however, said the controversy surrounding the Commonwealth Games have tarnished the image of India.

"What should have been ready three years ago is still not complete. We waited till the last moment to finish everything, hence bringing disrepute to the nation," fumed the 'Flying Sikh', a name given to him by Pakistan General Ayub Khan in 1962.

"Wherever I go with my son (ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh), people speak so highly about India and talk about the progress the country has made over the past few years. But all this mess in the Commonwealth Games has dragged the country back. The nation has lost its respect," the gold medallist in the then 440 yard race in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Milkha also blamed the administrators for the sorry state of affairs in athletics and said Indian athletes would not be able to win a single medal in the Commonwealth Games and it would be solely because of the sluggish attitude of the officials.

"I had told the Athletics Federation of India to start the training of the athletes about 8-10 years back. The day we bagged the Commonwealth Games, I had asked them to start their training.

"But unlike China, which immediately after getting the Beijing Olympics, started to provide their athletes the best of training possible as well as opened academies for them, we never did it. And no wonder, China won so many medals in the last Olympics," said the legendary athlete. PTI