On Saturday night, India were very lucky that Melbourne Commonwealth Games champion Akhil Kumar wasn't badly hurt when his bed at the Commonwealth Games village collapsed on Saturday evening, with him in it.
It had already been a difficult, tiring Saturday for Akhil, one of the handful of
Indian gold medallists at the last Games in 2006, and the rest of the Indian boxing team that drove into Delhi from Patiala late afternoon.
They had been on the road since 8am and had been stuck in traffic jams across the city, after entering the Capital and heading to Olympic Bhavan in the Qutub Institutional Area to pick up their accreditation cards. They did that and found that the special buses they were required to transfer to, to take them to the Games Village, were missing (there are 325 low floor buses reserved for athletes use during the Games).
“We kept being told that the buses would come in 10 minutes, 15 minutes,” said a boxer. The buses came four hours later, by which time the 10-member team, at least six of who are major medal hopes for India, just wanted to lie down and get some sleep.
“I checked in to my room (in Tower 29), put my luggage down and flopped down on the bed and found myself crashing through it.
“It was quite scary. I later discovered that there was no plywood under the mattress, it had just been placed on the
The boxers then complained to housekeeping, to no avail. The coaches and boxers then replaced the bed, bringing in one from elsewhere.
The boxers incidentally, were issued an emergency gag order after a call from Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, who was worried about more adverse publicity. Kalmadi called boxing federation secretary PK Muralidharan Raja.
Raja reportedly asked team officials to tell the boxers not to tell the media what had happened.
All the team members — Amandeep Singh, Suranjoy Singh, Akhil, Jai Bhagwan, Manoj Kumar, Dilbagh, Vijender Singh, Dinesh, Manpreet and Paramjeet Samota — were reportedly very distressed by the day's events.