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Media contingent gets to see transformation in Delhi 2010 venues

Gaurav Thakur

NEW DELHI: Organising Committee Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 took a large contingent of sports media on a tour of some venues on a rainy Sunday. The downpour failed to diminish the enthusiasm of the media persons, who spent time in the state-of-art infrastructure that has come up for next month’s Games.

“As you can see, world-class infrastructure is ready, despite the apprehension,” Organising Committee Chairman Mr. Suresh Kalmadi. MP, told the media at the Thyagaraj Stadium, venue of the netball competition. “We are working day and night to make the Games successful.” He stressed that the media support for the Games was important.

“We are ready to hold the competition tomorrow,” said Competition Manager Carmel Wright. “The facilities are world class. I am an Australian and I can tell you that the stadium is much better than what we had in Melbourne where there were not many change rooms. It will leave a rich legacy for the sport in India.”

Earlier, at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, where boxing competition would be held, Organising Committee Secretary General Dr Lalit K. Bhanot said world class facilities had been created for the athletes to showcase their talent.

“Everything is ready in the stadium -- athletes lounge, anti doping centre, warm up area, change room, medical facilities. We have left nothing to chance,” said Competition Manager Lenny Degama.

From the compact Talkatora Stadium, the media contingent went to the impressive Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Aquatics Complex. Organising Committee Vice Chairman Randhir Singh expressed confidence that the Games would be well organised.  An International Swimming Federation (FINA) technical delegation inspected the facilities last month and was satisfied, Competition Manager Kamlesh Nanavati said.

At the Siri Fort Sports Complex, which will host the Commonwealth Games badminton and squash competitions, the media saw the squash court with moveable walls that will allow it to be changed from singles court to doubles court and vice-versa. And in the badminton arena, the media saw a clean venue that is ready to stage the competition.

It was apparent to the media that the stadia have all undergone considerable sprucing up in the past one month that the Organising Committee has been in charge of the venues. The playing arenas, warm-up areas and other facilities were in place with the overlays work completed. The landscaping and cleaning up work outside the stadium is on and should be completed soon.