Wednesday, 6 January 2010

India gets much needed vote of confidence from Oz

An Australian official says next year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi have the potential to become the best ever, praising the progress the organizing committee has made in the past several months.

Perry Crosswhite, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief executive officer, told News Ltd. newspapers on Friday that India had made strong progress recently after early preparations on venues were stalled by disorganization.

"The jury is still out but given the rapid progress that the organizers are making, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi have the potential to be the best games ever," Crosswhite said.

"We have had concerns on occasions this year in regards to the organizing committee's ability to meet deadlines and requirements. However as 2009 draws to a close I am buoyed by the progress shown in the last couple of months."

Crosswhite, a member of the Delhi 2010 coordination commission, said a number of specialists have been added to the committee.

"After meeting with the CGF (Commonwealth Games Federation) in October, organizers have appointed a number of international experts ... they all have significant experience in major games such as the Sydney Olympics and Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

"It's also pleasing to see that the Indian government has become more involved. They fully understand that the games need to be a success for their country, their people and their standing on the international stage."

Crosswhite's comments came at the completion of a three-day meeting in Delhi, and after a warning to games officials to maintain their efforts.

On Wednesday, Austin Sealy, chairman of the CGF coordination commission, said progress in infrastructure for the games should not disguise ongoing concerns about slow preparations and lapsed deadlines.

Sealy also visited all competition venues before issuing a statement.

"There has been noticeable progress over the last two months, however, with effectively only nine months remaining, the intensity must continue, and in fact, works must be further accelerated," Sealy said.

"We urge the construction agencies to ensure that no further delays are encountered as this will place the OC (Organizing Committee) in a difficult position and compromise final preparations and games readiness."

India will host the event from Oct. 3-14 next year, featuring 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

CGF president Michael Fennell was scheduled to visit New Delhi on Friday for meetings with Organizing Committee members to discuss concerns raised by the commission


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