GAMES VILLAGE SET BENCHMARK FOR LONDON 2012
Games Village has set benchmark for London 2012′
Games Village set benchmark for London 2012
Thursday, September 16, 2010 7:47:15 PM by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) England’s Chef de mission Craig Hunter’s comments on the Games Village will be music to the ears of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) chairman Suresh Kalmadi and his team.
Organisers have been claiming that some of the facilities for the New Delhi Games will be as good as what the world watched in awe at Beijing.
Hunter seems to endorse the Organising Committee’s view and went a step further in saying the Games Village is far better than the accommodation provided at the Beijing Olympics and it will be a challenge for London, the hosts of 2012 Olympics, to match it.
“It is spectacular,” Hunter told a few journalists on the day of the soft opening of the Village.
“You should be proud of what you have got. Every Games Village has progressed and this sets a new standard. This Village is better than the Beijing Olympics. You have given us a challenge for the London 2012,” said Hunter, who arrived here four days ago to see the facilities and do the spadework before the athletes arrive Sep 23.
“The apartments are spacious and well furnished. They are of high quality. The surroundings are lush green and beautiful. I have seen other Games villages where there were one bathroom for four athletes. Here two athletes share one bathroom. Also, to have such a training facility at the Village itself is amazing. It will be a comfortable stay at the Village.”
“I have been coming here in last 18 months and I have seen the Village grow. There are bits and pieces to be done, but that happens before the start of every Games. We are here in advance to check out everything before the athletes arrive.”
Hunter also said some of the venues for the Games are world class.
Hunter downplayed the security fears and said the Organising Committee is making all efforts to look into their concerns.
England, Wales, New Zealand and Scotland have gone in for a joint assessment of security in Delhi, but Hunter said it was nothing unusual.
“Security is an integral part of every Games and it is no different here. This has been there since the 1972 Munich Olympic disaster. It is part of the preparation.”
“We have had meetings with the Organising Committee on every aspect of the Games Village, on security, health care, accommodation. They gave us a patient hearing and we have got the right assurances.”
“There are still some issues. There have been numbers of cases of dengue fever, and we have asked for fogging at the Village every evening. There are also some operational challenges, but I am sure that these things will be looked into. Everything is in good shape.”
England will be the second largest contingent after Australia with around 525 athletes and team officials participating.
“We are bringing 371 athletes and it is one of the largest contingents England have sent overseas.”
Asked about the pullout by some athletes, he said: “There has been no pullout due to security and any other reason. The athletes who are not coming here is because of the packed international calendar and injuries. It has been a long season.”
“But we do have some Olympic and World Champions coming to Delhi. Also, there are some talented youngsters in the squad. We are using this as a preparation for London 2012.”
Double Olympic champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington and Beijing Olympics silver medallist triple jumper Phillips Idowu are some of the star England athletes who will be seen in action in Delhi.
The Village has 4,000 bedrooms spread across 34 towers, with four million square feet of constructed area. The apartments ranging from two to five bedroom units (1,400 sq ft to 3,500 sq ft) will house more than 7,000 athletes and officials.