The Commonwealth Games Federation President, Michael Fennell, on Thursday lavished praise on India for the successful conduct of the Commonwealth Games.

Addressing his customary press conference, the CGF chief, said despite apprehensions about Delhi's ability to host the Games, the 12-day event has been a major success.

“I was asked when I was coming here on September 23: When are you going to announce the cancellation of the Games? I told the questioner that I was going to set it right and not announce its cancellation. And today, I am happy we (the CGF) and Organising Committee could function with the utmost coordination and deliver a successful Games.”

Fennell also went back to a comment he had made at a news conference held here a few months ago: “What is your Plan ‘B',” he was asked. “And I remember having replied, ‘Our Plan ‘B' is Delhi and Delhi alone'. And I am glad that Delhi has performed much to our overall satisfaction.”

Reminding the media that his comments were provisional, as a detailed evaluation of the Games would be taken up by the CGF in the coming weeks, Fennell said he was a satisfied man on several counts.

Fennell said that competitions were held on schedule and the athletes, who were the soul of the Games, were happy through their stay in Delhi.

The venues came in for praise from the CGF chief. “Some of them have been especially good,” he said.

“We have also had a high level of competition in all the 17 disciplines, though we did miss some outstanding performers who are household names the world over.”

About the security arrangements that caused the maximum problems for every one engaged in the organisation, Fennell said he was happy that nothing was allowed to compromise security.

Initial hiccups

The sound transport arrangements, after initial hiccups, when drivers unfamiliar with the roads had caused problems, eventually worked to everybody's satisfaction, Fennell said. He thanked the citizens and traffic authorities for the successful operation of the ‘Games lane' that helped move the Games traffic without a hitch. The 22,000 volunteer force and the 4,000 workforce, who toiled hard day and night for the success of the Games also came in for praise from the CGF chief.

The media, he said, had kept the CGF and OC on alert all along. Do you blame the media for exposing problems or do you think they helped? “Both,” replied Fennell before going on to add: “I felt some of the trivia received more attention than it should (have), but it was important to expose some of the fundamental issues and it helped.

“When these were exposed in the media, this helped us to get action going in certain areas.”The OC Chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, who made a brief appearance said he and his entire team was happy that the Games were held on a successful note.