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Commonwealth Games 2010
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Latest News - Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi and New Delhi.
Stadiums ready for the Games

Amid apprehensions about the quality of the venues and preparedness of sporting facilities, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi has expressed confidence, saying that all venues for the upcoming mega-event are ready and capable of hosting any event at short notice. 

"All the venues are ready. I would like to tell you, there were grave apprehensions, but we told you that all the venues would be ready. There was rainfall, there were problems, but we are ready to host the games," said Kalmadi. 

"All our teams are ready, our venue managers are in place, all the venue teams are in place, we are set to hold a very good competition for the Commonwealth Games," he added, while speaking on Sunday at the Thyagaraj Stadium, the venue for netball competitions. 

"We are not authorised to speak to the media," said one foreign official, unaware that he was talking to a mediaperson! However, as the staff went about the drill, there was excitement all around.

TV crews were going berserk watching the aerostat rise almost to the height of the stadium peak. "We have been at it for ten days now," said a top official from Britain. When asked if rains would create problems for the helium-filled giant balloon, he replied in the negative.

"In another few days, we will also be putting up the stage, so where is the question of the aerostat running into any trouble," CWG Organising Committee (OC) secretary general Lalit Bhanot told Mail Today. "The aerostat is the first of its kind in India and on the opening day (October 3), it will be a spectacle to behold." With several TV crews from home and Australia watching the aerostat and the colourful backdrop of the stadium, there was suspense and excitement in the arena. "I think rains do not matter at all, everything is in place now as you can see," said Randhir Singh, vice chairman of the OC. "In fact, if you can see the puppet hanging from the aerostat, you can get a glimpse of what is in store. The pictures which will be beamed from the aerostat will be fascinating, just watch out for it on the big day." There has been a lot of criticism for the aerostat, described in layman's language as a giant balloon. It's 80 metres long and 40 metres wide and has video cameras and screens in it. With AR Rahman's theme song blaring in the background from the high-quality speakers, it does appear that things are on course with 19 days to go for the Games.

After sunset, the lights around the stadium kept changing colours, from red to blue to a fluorescent yellow. The effects were good.

On the athletics track, where there has been a lot of confusion, things looked good. In fact, CK Valson, the chief technical official who will be looking after the track-and-field events during the Games said: "Everything is fine. Repairs had to be done above the tunnel and it is perfectly repaired. People who will run on it will vouch that there is no damage now." Below the track, Mail Today was able to go to the warm-up practice track. There was a damp smell after the heavy showers but the track looked fine. Old-time Delhi athletes were nostalgic when they described the facilities.

The media lounge has also been done up fully, with horticulture work on the road to the stadium now complete.
At the adjacent lawn bowls venue, there was a buzz of activity.
For the first time, synthetic pitches will be used and the whole setup looked green.
"This is going to be exciting to watch and even if it rains, it does not matter. The Indian team is training here and, as this is the first time the Commonwealth Games are going to be held on a synthetic surface, we can do well. There are 18 medals at stake and India can boost its medal tally," added Randhir.

The OC also informed the media that the kitchen at the residential zone of the Games Village has become operational, with the first cooked meals served during breakfast on Monday.
The caterers, Delaware North, have already tested the equipment and are all set to serve over 7000 athletes and team officials.
Randhir, venue administrator Ashok Vasudevan and other key team members joined the workforce for lunch at the Village.
The lunch was a traditional Indian one consisting of chapatis, dal and peas.

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