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Fun Village: All’s well and all are relieved

Finally, each official concerned with the much-maligned Commonwealth Games heaved a sigh of relief as Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit officially declared the Games Village ready.

other Updated: Sep 29, 2010 23:18 IST
Moonmoon Ghosh

Finally, each official concerned with the much-maligned Commonwealth Games heaved a sigh of relief as Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit officially declared the Games Village ready. Having earlier said that the 63.5-acre complex would take two or three days more to finish, Dixit visited it in the morning and expressed satisfaction.

Dixit, who arrived along with Union Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, said, “The work at the Village is complete. All the lifts here are functional and the flats are ready as well."

Later, Sports Minister M S Gill also inspected the venue, along with OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi and Mayor Dalbir Singh. Having spent close to two hours inside the Village, the trio inspected all the areas, including dining, check-in, and transport.

Gill met the contingents of 15 nations and said he was happy and relieved. “Honestly, there is a clear feeling of comfort. All the athletes are glad to be here and are happy with the very expensive spread of facilities inside the Village,” Gill said.

Gill said that he had inspected the residential towers of 13 teams and not a single one had complained.

Aussies have no issues

The yellow and green colours of Australia have been prominently visible in the premises. With their swimming contingent bound to check in on Thursday, the Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti said that “he had no issues with anything to report”. Around 100 Aussie athletes are staying and training in the Village.

“You have some great venues out there,” Moneghetti said. “The wrestling facility is amazing. I have never seen one like it. The gymnastic venue was also terrific.”

Having raised their doubts on security in the build-up to the Games, the Australian squad isn't complaining now. “I'm happy with the security briefings. There is a confident feeling about how the security is being conducted and addressed here at the Games,” he said.

Track cyclist Anna Meares, who will participate in her third CWG, said that she was looking forward to the venue. "We are yet to go out to our venue. We will have our first training session today," she said.

Cultural exchange

South Africa and Wales hoisted their flags in the Village. The players filled up the open-air auditorium and cheered and jigged as children performed a Rajasthani dance.

15-year-old Tanzanian swimmer Mariam Ali Foum posed for photographs with a vuvuzela, along with 19-year-old Magdalena Moshi. “We are hoping to take back wonderful memories from India,” said Ali Foum. “Initially our parents were worried about the security. But now, after talking to them everyday, they are relieved with the arrangements," she said.