The core group gymnasts, who were here for the selection trials for the Commonwealth Games, left for Pune late on Monday night a dejected lot after their three-day training camp (from August 20-22) was ‘called off’ because of lack of proper equipment and infrastructure at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
As reported in the Hindustan Times on Aug 23, the gymnasts, who were in Captial, had refused to practice at the venue citing dangerous conditions — including a leaky roof — prevailing inside the stadium, inaugurated on April 10.
Artistic gymnastics coach, Vladimir Chatko, confirmed the departure. “The equipment here is too dangerous for the players. It’s better to go back and practice (in Pune) than be here and risk injuries,” said Chatko.
HT had also reported about how the CWG Organising Committee had missed the deadline for procuring equipment from Holland. As a result, the organisers had to borrow equipment, imported more than two years back, from the National Games Organising Committee in Ranchi.
The secretary-general of the Gymnastics Federation of India, Kan Singh Rathore, said, “The equipment here is good for nothing. With a month to go for the Games, how can we put our players at risk? Even one injury can play havoc with the permutation and combination of the team.”
A core group gymnast told HT before leaving for Pune that, “We were here to acclimatise and get used to the equipment. There are not enough mats here. I felt scared while doing my routine on the apparatus.”