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Delhi on course to land 2014 Asian Games

The Olympic Council of Asia?s evaluation committee sounded happy with New Delhi?s bid for the 2014 Asian Games, writes S Kannan.

india Updated: Nov 12, 2006 00:57 IST
S Kannan

The Olympic Council of Asia’s five-member evaluation committee sounded more than happy with New Delhi’s bid for the 2014 Asian Games.

After two days of ‘site checks’ and meetings with top officials, ranging from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the bid committee, chaired by Celso Dayrit said: “We have got the answers to all the questions that were raised.”

The committee flew to Incheon, South Korea, late on Saturday, to evaluate their bid as well for the Games. But, if the speeches from each of the members of the evaluation committee are to be taken at seriously, New Delhi’s is on course to win the bid.

Perhaps, the best observation came from Abdul Ghani Tabhalat. “Our two-day visit was fruitful and there is extreme cooperation from all the stake holders. Everyone has shown huge interest and, though the Games are eight years away, the interest is so high as if the Games are to be held next year,” he said.

It brought smiles on the faces of Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi and Secretary General Randhir Singh, who is also the Secretary General of the OCA.

After visiting a few venues and the proposed Asian Games Village in East Delhi, the bid committee met the Press.

Rather than speaking about each aspect himself Dayrit let other members of the bid committee talk about New Delhi's preparedness.

Natalia Sipovich said, “The hospitality extended to us in New Delhi was warm. I wish Delhi big success.”

Dayrit, however, raised certain issues concerning sponsorship. “We need certain assurances (from the Government) relating to sponsorship, as it involves corporates from India and abroad,” he said.

And Randhir Singh was quick to respond that it was not a difficult issue to handle.