The Queen's Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games reached here Thursday as over 5,500 athletes and officials of the expected 7,000 for the event beginning Oct 3 focussed their attention on training.
The Baton entered the host city from Haryana after travelling through 71 participating countries and all the Indian states and union territories. Over the next two days it will be taken through Delhi before entering the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue of the opening ceremony.
Among those to arrive at the Village was the entire 52-strong Australian swimming team which had stayed back in Malaysia over concerns about the security situation in India.
The team entered the Village late Wednesday and head coach Leigh Nugent said he was happy that all members had travelled to India.
Though facilities at the Village and the venues are coming in for praise from the athletes and officials after weeks of being slammed, the issue continued to rankle Kalmadi who Thursday said he was not only ready for a probe but wanted it to get to the truth.
"I am ready for any inquiry, post the Games. In fact, an inquiry must be held, to get to the bottom of the truth," he said addressing the inaugural session of the two-day ‘FICCI TURF 2010', the second Global Sports Summit - international Convention on the Business of Sports. The summit organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries, began in Delhi Thursday.
"All the infrastructure that has been put up is world class; the Games village is the finest anywhere. All the athletes that have arrived to date have moved in to the village and all the Commonwealth countries are participating in CWG 2010," Kalmadi said.
Apparently referring to criticism that the sporting facilities would be a waste of money after the Games end Oct 14, Kalmadi acknowledged "the challenge, post the Games, would be to utilize optimally the infrastructure that has been created."