After the shambolic build-up that included a dirty athletes village and other shortcomings leading to threats of pull-out by leading competing nations, the Commmonwealth Games was today given a pat on the back by CGF chief Michael Fennell in his final press conference.
"Delhi has performed and the overall image of the Games has been extremely positive", declared Commonwealth Games Federation chief Fennell on the last day of the multi-discipline event. "Leading up to the Games, people were not sure whether to go to India or not after all those reports (about the less than perfect build-up) came out.
When I was going to India on September 23, I was even asked when would I announce the cancellation of the Games," Fennell told a press conference. "I said our job is to fix the problems and not to give up.
I had said in a press conference at that time (before the Games) when asked whether there was Plan B and I said Plan B is Delhi. It was always Delhi and Delhi has performed," Fennell said.
The CGF president refused to buy the line that the controversies in the lead up have damaged the integrity of the Games. "No doubt the overall image of the Games has been good. Spectators have enjoyed, broadcasting has been good. People have seen extremely positive image of the Games right across the world," he said.
"There are some details to be called into (for scrutiny). There were a number of issues but the fact is that the end result is good. I don't think whatever has happened (in the lead-up) has damaged the image of the Games," he added.
Fennell said the feedbacks from the athletes have been good while some of the competition venues and the Games Village were "exceptional". "This is only a provisional comment. We will have a detailed evaluation and post mortem later.
The athletes competed very well and they are comfortable. "Apart from one or two incidents, it was a very satisfactory experience. Some of the competition venues were exceptional. Some are of high standard. They provided high quality of competition," he said.
Taking the cue, Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, who had been lampooned by the media before and during the initial part of the Games, said "World apprehensions before the Games have disappeared." "The whole Games were built around athletes and they have enjoyed. They were happy with the food, Games village and everything. They enjoyed their stay here. When they go back they will take back great memories of india," he said.
"India too won a lot of medals, we have doubled the tally in Melbourne as we touching about 100. So as the head of Indian Olympic association it has been great for Olympic sport in the country," Kalmadi said. "The technical conduct of the Games has been good. Over 75 Games records were broken.
I have said (after the pull-out of some leading competitors) that new champions will emerge and that has happened. New sporting icons have come up for India also," he said.