Three of the four venues that the media were taken to on an excursion on a rainy Sunday seemed competition ready. If any doubts remained, it was over the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Complex.
With just 20 days left for the mega event, the Organsing Committee (OC) took the media to the SP Mukherjee Aquatics complex, the Thyagraj Stadium, the Talkatora Indoor Stadium and the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
With heavy rain in the morning there was waterlogging close to the main entrance, but inside, the venue, barring a few glitches, everything seemed set to host the event on October 4. What remained a concern was the periphery of the warmup area. Frenetic activities to get things in order seemed to suggest the work is far from being complete. Though the media was not taken to the area, what was visible through glass panels separating the area from the main pool was workers trying to fix loose tiles and repaint walls.
Another area that seemed amiss was the diving board where proper skid mats (a mat which covers the diving board for the divers to have a proper grip to prevent them from slipping) were not fixed as yet. But the OC clarified that finishing touches were needed to host the event.
“The venue is competition ready to host the event in the next 48 hours,” said Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the OC, who accompanied the media. The complex will host nearly 450 divers and swimmers from 42 countries.
The other stadiums to which the media were granted access on Sunday seemed ready.
Talkatora Indoor Stadium looked in better shape. With 241 boxers from 48 countries scheduled to arrive in a fortnight, the competition manager Lenin said, “things are under control and minor issues will be taken care of soon.”
The swanky Thyagraj Stadium, the venue for netball, was the best of the lot that were made avialable for the journalist to have a look at. Having a seating capacity of nearly 4500, the green stadium has automatic folding seats and will generate 3.5 mega watts of solar-powered electricity. The venue will host 12 teams during the Games.
Siri Fort Sporting Complex (badminton and squash venues), too looked ready to host the events. For squash there are 10 glass courts which are automatically convertible from single to double in 45 minutes.
We are ready: Kalmadi
Commenwealth Game Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi who visited the Thyagraj Stadium on Sunday said all the venues can host an event within an hour's notice.
“Despite unusually heavy rain this time in Delhi, we are ready to host the games,” said Kalmadi.
Though dengue has been a concern, Kalmadi said that was no need to worry.
“Effective measures have been taken by the those conconcerned to ensure that dengue is kept at bay and athletes should not worry,”he said.