Australia dismisses closing ceremony boycott theory | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Australia dismisses closing ceremony boycott theory

delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2010 20:28 IST

Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti has dismissed fears that athletes of his country may boycott Thursday's closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games after receiving assurances from the organisers that there would not be a repeat of the 'tunnell of hell' experience.

Moneghetti on Wednesday said they were now satisfied with the arrangement as the Organising Commitee have promised to improve the conditions which was seen at the Delhi Games opening ceremony on October 3.

"As per the details, they (the organisers) have removed the tunnel of hell so we're in a position to encourage all our athletes to march in the closing ceremony. I think it's a great opportunity to celebrate what will be a very successful Games," Moneghetti told reporters at the Games Village.

Earlier at the customary media interaction in the morning, Commonwealth Games Federation chief, Michael Fennell, had ensured that athletes' opening night ordeal would not be repeated.

"It was not only Aussies who had problems (in the opening ceremony). It's not just an assurance, we would ensure how the athletes interest can be safeguarded," Fennell said.

As per the new plan, the team will now wait outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium before marching in, avoiding the tunnel where the Aussies were kept for more than an hour in 40-degree temperatures prior to their parade in the opening show.

"The organising committee were satisfied with the way they are going to conduct the closing ceremony," Moneghetti said.

More than 300 Australian athletes are expected to participate in the closing ceremony as about 100 have already left the capital.