Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Lucky escape @ Lawn bowling event

It was a late addition to the eight nations lawn bowling event in the Capital but failed to sustain for even 24 hours. On Tuesday night, after the end of the first day’s play, members of the Commonwealth Games organising committee had decided to put up a giant screen at the Nehru stadium sports complex, venue for the ongoing eight-nation lawn bowls event, to add to the ‘spectators’ viewing experience’. Overnight, a giant screen was put up, just behind the bowling greens.

On Wednesday afternoon, the screen failed to withstand air pressure and collapsed, narrowly missing the bowling greens and the players practising for the evening session of the day.

“Yes the screen collapsed due to a slightly heavy sandstorm but thankfully nobody was hurt. That was our first concern,” said Sunaina Kumari, president of the Lawn Bowling Federation of India.

The screen, which was put up on the other side of the players’ area, fell away from the competition area and the bowling greens. We had not put it up in the first place. But some members of the organising committee visited later in the evening yesterday and said a big screen would look good, It was put up overnight,” she added.

While the screen was later removed and the evening session began on time — around 4.30 pm — the visiting participants did voice their concern. “It was scary. It was a good thing that the screen fell in-between sessions, and the organisers managed to get it removed in time. But we were shaken up,” a foreign player admitted.

Interestingly, while the screen was put up to enhance spectators' experience, the event is beyond any visit by those who might be interested. There are no spectators due to tight security and several hassles, while even those possessing an invitation card for the event have to go through layers of security and still be prepared to be turned back, again citing security reasons. The recent Rugby sevens test event in the city was also played almost behind closed doors since common public was restricted from entering the venue.


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