15 teams complete Games registration
As 15 nations completed their Delegation Registration Meeting (DRMs) in New Delhi on Wednesday, there was a sense of optimism that the Games would in fact be able to go ahead without any major pullouts.Updated: Sep 23, 2010 00:13 IST
As 15 nations completed their Delegation Registration Meeting (DRMs) in New Delhi on Wednesday, there was a sense of optimism that the Games would in fact be able to go ahead without any major pullouts. Australian Sports Minister, Mark Arbib, Commonwealth Games Association and Commonwealth Games Australia CEO, Perry Crosswhite, both said their nation remains committed to competing in next month's Games. Crosswhite told the media that the authorities were not contemplation a pullout. He said, "No, not at all. I think you have to be very careful to make that kind of decision because what you are essentially doing is making that decision on behalf of 400 athletes. The reality is, they are the ones the Games are for and, in some respects they are the ones that have to make the decision about whether they want to come here or not."
The Nigerian and Tanzanian delegations echoed the views. EU Gora, the chef de mission of the Nigerian team said, "The media and the country need to be fair to the Games and the OC. At this stage, we are happy with the facilities we have been provided. All we want is a safe environment for our teams from the health point of view, good, clean food, proper training and competing facilities, transport to and from the venues, and safety of our athletes. From what we can see, all those needs are being met."
In a country like India, where millions still live in poverty, the government has many other considerations, and more important obligations than the Games. Yet, Gora said, "The OC and the government are doing their best. There is no such thing as a perfect Games, but what we will see will be pretty close. A lot of work is going on in the Village, and we hope it will be ready. The Nigerian teams will probably start arriving on Friday." Nigeria are hoping to better their last biggest haul of 34 medals at the 1994 Games in Victoria, Canada, and will probably send a squad of over 100 athletes.
Crosswhite, meanwhile, said he was comfortable with arrangements, "As long as the hard work that has started now is maintained and probably increases. But it's not like buildings are going to fall down or anything."
New Zealand still concerned
"Cancellation of the Games would have significant implications on the future of the Commonwealth Games... and also wouldn't be good for India, an obviously fast-emerging nation that New Zealand has good relations with," New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said.
"(But) if they are to go ahead, from New Zealand's perspective, conditions have to be safe," he added before saying that there would be no unilateral pullout on their part, but if individual athletes decided not to compete in Delhi, he would support them.
Kiwi swimming team seeking plan B
New Zealand's swimming team are seeking a "Plan B" competition with other nations should the Delhi Commonwealth Games be cancelled, the organisation's performance and pathways general manager said on Wednesday.
New Zealand's swimmers left on Wednesday for a training camp in Abu Dhabi before the Oct. 3-14 Commonwealth Games.
However should the event be cancelled Swimming New Zealand's Jan Cameron told local media an alternative competition was being discussed with other nations.
"Of course, that's the likely scenario," she said when asked if the Plan B involved other countries and a swim meet elsewhere.
First Published: Sep 23, 2010 00:10 IST