Contingents satisfied with CWG arrangement, pull outs continue | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Contingents satisfied with CWG arrangement, pull outs continue

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2010 21:13 IST
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The relentless scathing criticism around the crisis-hit Commonwealth Games today waned with top sporting nations Australia and England leading a stream of contingents in expressing satisfaction at the arrangements in the village even as star pull-outs continued.

New Zealand, one of the countries which raised a strong pitch on the issue of cleanliness, also expressed satisfaction with the condition at the Village while neighbouring Pakistan also took a U-turn after its initial complaints yesterday.

Sensing the positive buzz in the controversy-marred Games, Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi asserted that all the 71 participating nations have reposed full faith in them to pull off a spectacular show.

"Three thousand athletes and officials have already entered, many (visitors) are coming and returning home satisfied. Let me tell you that all the 71 participating nations have full confidence that we will do it well."

"Notwithstanding the controversy and all the bad publicity that has come out, I want to make it clear that the Commonwealth Games infrastructure is fully ready... the Games Village is in place," Kalmadi said.

However, top athletes continued to pull out of the Games, already hit hard by star withdrawals.

South African world champion 800m runner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi today became the latest high-profile athlete to pull out of Commonwealth Games due to injury while English tennis player Richard Bloomfield also decided to skip the event.

Mulaudzi, who won men's 800m gold in the Berlin World Championships last year and a silver winner in the 2004 Athens Olympics, has a nagging back injury problem.

Another South African and women's 800m world champion, Caster Semenya will take a decision on her participation in the Games following a back injury.

Australia, which has been severely critical of the Games arrangements, today said they are satisfied over the preparations and sought to downplay the remarks of its Prime Minister Julia Gillard cautioning her countrymen while travelling in India.

Three days after India took exception to Gillard's comments with regard to security here, High Commissioner Peter Varghese said, "I don't think we should read too much into it" as she only stated the "factual material" in the travel advisory.

He said Australian authorities are "impressed" with the "strong commitment" and "vigour" on the part of organisers with regard to security arrangements.