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Para-athletes satisfied with Games village

other Updated: Sep 25, 2010 03:12 IST
Priya Mahindroo
Priya Mahindroo
Hindustan Times
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Athletes from all around the Commonwealth are complaining about facilities at the Games Village, but here is an Indian contingent testifying that the amenities provided for the para-athletes are better than those at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"The para-athletes have been allotted the ground floor, keeping in mind their limitations. There are special washrooms for them and they have wheelchair accessibility everywhere in the Village," said Satyapal Singh, coach of the Indian athletics squad. The squad entered the Village on Thursday and will be staying there till the Games are over.

"Even at the training venues, we have wheelchairs available and special equipment to train with. Shuttle service for the athletes is also commendable," added the coach.

"The facilities and atmosphere is better than Beijing. We have volunteers helping us wherever we go; they don't even let us carry our bags," said sprinter Markanada Reddy, who represented the country at Beijing.

The athletics squad recently returned from the Asian Games qualifying event, the CP Sports National Championship, held in London. Satyapal found the Village even better than the venue for London Olympics 2012. "We were staying in the Olympic Village in London and the Village here is much better in terms of infrastructure and space," he said.

While other para-athletes from disciplines like swimming, powerlifting and table tennis are likely to join the athletics squad on Sunday, a few international athletes have also arrived in the Village. "We saw a couple of para-athletes from Malaysia and Canada. Other countries are expected to join us soon," said Reddy.