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CGF concerned over crowd response for marathon

The poor crowd turnout might have come in for a lot of criticsm but the Organising Committee feels they have done well in terms of ticket sales for the Commonwealth Games.

other Updated: Oct 12, 2010 15:48 IST

The poor crowd turnout might have come in for a lot of criticsm but the Organising Committee feels they have done well in terms of ticket sales for the Commonwealth Games.

Giving an update, Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot said: "So far more than 10 lakh tickets have been sold, and that includes for the closing ceremony.

"Some tickets in not so prime events are still available in the booths set up by the Organising Committee. The IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited) is operating it," Bhanot said.

However, disappointed with the poor turnout for the road cycling race, held last Sunday on deserted streets of Central Delhi, Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell said they were concerned about the crowd response for the upcoming marathon.

"We all are disappointed with the lack of spectators for the cycling race, maybe because of high security. We are planning on marathon. Security is a concern, but at the same time we have to see how it facilitates the spectators," Fennell said at the customary press conference on Tuesday.

The 42-km event, traditionally among the highlights of any multi-discipline sports festival, is to be held on the last day of the Games, October 14.

Asked about their opinion over the conduct of the Games that saw a chaotic build-up, Fennell said: "I think it's premature to make a comment on this.

We have to collect all the reports, datas and then we will evaluate carefully. It won't be that early. "At the end of November we have scheduled a briefing where there will also be a review meeting with Glasgow organisers." "There was very intense competition and a very good response. Athletes have shown high level of interest. We have to evaluate the other aspects. I do not anticipate a lot of changes. "We have to see the demand for security in the next Games. It varies from host city to host city. We will see how it can be balanced keeping the need for tight security. We will raise a bar again in Glasgow."

Asked whether they would keep all the categories intact in wrestling, Fennell said, "I have talked about the overall structure and not about any individual sport. There may be some change in accordance with the host city. That's a continous process."

On the labourers who were critically injured during the bridge collpase incident ahead of the Games, he said, "From a human point of view we are concerned. I had met the Delhi chief minister they have assured that they have been properly looked after. I'm satisfied with the assurance."

Asked whether the few phone numbers of foreign journalists have been blocked, OC chief Suresh Kalmadi said they had not heard about it. On the allegation that the Army did not get the share of tickets they were promised, he said that the armed forces had given its full support and in case of any problems over providing tickets to them he would personally look into the issue.