Believe it or not, with only over a month left for the Commonwealth Games, the players are still waiting for their equipment to arrive and the venues to open. But the Games organisers are clearly not listening.
This time around, it’s the Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI), which is crying foul over the apathy shown by the officials. Despite promises made by the CWG Organising Committee (OC) to deliver the equipment on time, the gymnasts are yet to see the new apparatus.
Kan Singh Rathore, the GFI secretary-general was the first to express his disappointment. “The OC had promised to deliver the equipment by June-July,” said Rathore. “We are still waiting. I don’t know if we will get it at all.”
Rathore was also peeved with the attitude of the Games officials. “We have been requesting them to allow our players to train at the venue (IG Stadium). But when I came to know about the delay in procurement of equipment, ordered from Gymnova (a Holland-based company), I felt helpless.”
Rathore said the players were missing out on home advantage. “The players should get at least six months to train at the venue. But the situation is such that we were forced to postpone the test event by a month,” he said.
Earlier, the tournament was slated for July 16. But paucity of equipment meant postponing it. “What is the use of hosting the Games when the host country players don’t get to train at the venue. It’s a shame,” said Rathore.
When asked why the federation decided to go ahead with the test event without the equipment not being in place, Rathore said he couldn’t have delayed things further as it would have also delayed the selection process for the Games.
Talking about the medal prospects, Rathore said, “ I am very hopeful. I think we will clinch a few gold in artistic gymnastics. Had there been equipment and infrastructure in place, it would have only boosted our chances.”