Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Delhi can't get worse than Athens: CWG England chief

Commonwealth Games England president Dame Kelly Holmes came to the defence of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and said that delays are part and parcel of any multi-sporting event.

Holmes, a former Olympic double gold medallist who visited Delhi last month along with Prime Minister David Cameron, cited the example of the 2004 Olympics and said the state of preparation in Delhi can't be as bad as the one she saw in Athens.

"I compare it to the Athens Olympics when they were still planting trees on the day it opened. I don't think it can get any worse than that," Holmes was quoted as saying by The Times.

Holmes, however, returned home unimpressed with the state of some venues in Delhi.

"I was there on the prime ministerial visit and I'm not going to lie, some of the venues looked like a building site," Holmes said.

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC), already buffetted by corruption charges, suffered a serious blow when a foot overbridge outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed Tuesday morning.

Things only got worse for the CGOC when a portion of false ceiling came down at the weighlifting venue of the Nehru Stadium Wednesday though nobody was injured.

Holmes said the Games have been marred by several delays but she was hopeful that it would make the people of India proud.

"It is a fair point with a nation where so many people are in unfortunate positions, but I really hope the Games brings a different energy and makes some people feel proud. I just hope the general public in India will be given the chance to go to the Games," Holmes said.


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