New Delhi: Nine days to go for the Games to begin and a certain amount of uncertainty about the Games taking place in the first place seems to be over. Delhi's Commonwealth Games will not be dented by the lack of athletes attending the Games. There wouldn’t be large scale pull outs. England's athletes arrived this morning and the delegation from New Zealand has confirmed that they will soon take a flight to India.
The nightmare of a failed Games seems to be coming to end for the Organising Committee (OC) as the problems at the Games Village seem to be moving towards a solution.
Only a couple of days back England had described its participation as being on a "knife-edge". On Friday, 61 English athletes stepped out of Delhi's international airport. Members of the hockey and lawn bowls teams are finally in the capital city with a smile on their faces.
“We are all getting ready for the action and waiting to get going”, said Caroline Searle, Media Manager, England Athletes.
And the good news became great news a few hours later when New Zealand's Olympic Committee held a press conference in Auckland to confirm that they will be heading to Delhi. The Kiwis had been among the most vocal critics of the arrangements of the Games, but those fears seem to have been allayed for now.
“I really don’t have doubts at the back of my mind,” said Tamsyn Leevey, New Zealand squash player.
Over at the Games Village, the heads of a few delegations had a good look at the state of affairs and sent out a comforting message. Commonwealth Games federation boss Mike Fennell was seething a few days ago. On Friday he seemed a happier man.
“The briefing I received from Mike Hooper last night was that considerable improvements have been made within the village. With further significant resources deployed by the Delhi Chief Minister Mrs Dikshit to make good what was a concerning situation,” said Fennel.
The briefing I received from my CEO, Mike Hooper, last night, was that considerable improvements have been made within the Village, with further significant resources deployed by Delhi Chief Minister, Mrs Dikshit, to make good what was a concerning situation
“We are quite happy with the village…a thumbs up for the Games,” said Perry Crosswhite, Australian CWG chief.
Among the major participating countries, only Northern Ireland and Scotland are yet to confirm the exact date of their arrival in Delhi.
However, it’s certain now that the Games wouldn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of being snubbed by its own stakeholders.