The Australian contingent is not willing to take any chance and is taking some precautions in order to avoid possible terror attacks during their athletes' stay here during the Commonwealth Games.
Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti has asked the athletes to be careful while stepping out of the Games Village.
“We have not got any official confirmation from the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) on what we are going to do. It is too dangerous to leave the Games Village. They have some strict security procedures in place,” Moneghetti, a marathon gold medallist at the 1994 Games at Victoria (Canada), told a group of media persons at the Games Village on Tuesday.
"We cannot move around freely. The athletes have to come back to the Village after finishing the events and can only go to cheer their fellow countrymen. They will be allowed to move freely after the Games are over,” he said.
Moneghetti said the athletes had been advised not to wear the team jersey outside the Games venues as a safety measure.
So far, 80 Australian athletes and officials from lawn bowls, gymnastics, women's hockey and net ball have arrived here and more are expected on Thursday.
About the pullouts of a few Australian athletes, Moneghetti, a World championship bronze medallist in 1997, said, “Just four or five athletes have dropped out and that is certainly not a large number if you compare the size of the Australian contingent. But if the athletes drop out, it is their loss and not a loss for the Games,” he said.
The Aussie was “pleasantly surprised” at the facilities available at the Games Village.
“I have not received a single complaint from the athletes. Accommodation is perfect and the dining area is excellent,” he said.
Moneghetti shared his analysis of the traditional Australia-England rivalry. “The main competition here will be between Australia and England.
“England has spent double the amount in preparations for the Games as compared to Australia.
“Delhi is a neutral ground and we want to test our abilities. Ultimately, money becomes a very good factor.
“But it is not the dollar values, it is the efficiency of the dollar spent,” he said.
In the 2006 Melbourne Games, Australia had topped the table with 221 medals, including 84 gold.
England was a distant second with 113 medals, consisting of 36 gold.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games