As if the problems in the Games village were not enough for the athletes to worry about, the lack of co-ordination in the transportation department subjected the Indian shooting contingent to a six-hour ordeal that left them completely exhausted.
The shooting contingent, tipped to win the highest number of medals for the hosts, landed at the Indira Gandhi International airport at 9 pm on Saturday and were looking forward to a good night’s sleep. But they would have never imagined that a 35-kilometer journey from the airport to the Games village could turn out to be a nightmare.
“We were first taken to the international airport and we waited there for almost three hours. We were told that an international shooter was going to join us but no one came,” national shooting coach Sunny Thomas told Hindustan Times.
Their problems were compounded, as the shooters cannot take the arms and ammunition to the Games village and had to go the Karni Singh range first to deposit their equipment. “To add to our miseries, the cavalcade that was to escort us to the range came late,” Thomas added.
The team finally reached the Games village at 3.30 in the morning, 12 hours after they left for Delhi from Pune. The players were so drained after the ordeal that they decided to skip the morning practice on Sunday.
Thomas made to hunt for proper room
Even after reaching the Village, Thomas had to endure further agony due to the problems in the room that was allocated to him and the team.
“The room that was allotted to me first was decent. But I had to give it to the shooters, who didn’t get a good accommodation. As a replacement, they gave me the keys of another room, but that was not furnished. So they allotted me another room, which was well furnished.”
Shotgun shooters delay move to village
The team is also anticipating problem in transportation from the Games Village to the Karni Singh stadium every day. This has prompted the shotgun shooters to delay their arrival at the Village. They have made their own arrangements for a few days.
“Some of the shotgun shooters have been allotted rooms in the Games Village. But they will not be staying in the rooms at least for another couple of days, because of the transportation problems, which will unnecessarily waste their time,” said a shooting official. “Once the transport service starts working properly all the shooters will be shift to the Games Village,” he added.