Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell was heard remarking on Wednesday that the stadia and the facilities for the Oct 3-14 Games were far superior than the feedback he received.
Making whistle-stop visits to some of the venues on the first of the two-day inspection of the infrastructure, Mr. Fennell appeared satisfied with the progress of the work and said so to the officials who took him around.
A top official in the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) told IANS that the Jamaican was impressed with the play arena, dressing rooms and the media facilities at all the venues.
“Fennell took special interest in checking the facilities at all the venues. He seemed particularly impressed with the renovated Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex where gymnastics, wrestling and cycling facilities have come up,” the official said.
At the Yamuna Sports Complex, which has facilities for table tennis and archery, he had a satisfied look. He took special interest in seeing the 3,000-capacity show hall with two tables and the match hall with eight tables and two warm-up tables. He was also shown around the change rooms for players, facilities for media and spectators.
His first port of call was Thyagaraj Stadium. From there he went to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies and athletics and the adjacent weightlifting arena. Before visiting Indira Gandhi Complex, he went round the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, the Games Village and Yamuna Sports Complex.
Mr. Fennell also went to Delhi University’s Rugby Stadium, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Complex, Talkatora Stadium, Siri Fort Stadium and R.K. Khanna Stadium to round off the day.
At the tennis complex, he quickly saw the centre court and the show courts and obviously he didn’t have much to question as the facility was one of the first to be completed. The only thing he wanted to know during his 20-minute stay was the position of the cameras at the centre court.
At most of the venues, civil work was still on — clearing rubbles, paving the side walks, greening etc — with overlays work going on simultaneously.
A thick security blanket was thrown around all the venues and the media was kept out of bounds.
Mr. Fennell was accompanied by CGF chief executive Mike Hooper, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) vice-chairman Randhir Singh and secretary general Lalit Bhanot.
“Today Mr. Fennell visited all the stadiums except the two shooting ranges. Tomorrow he will be visiting the two ranges, will address the executive board of the organising committee and will also have some meetings as well,” Hooper told IANS.
On Thursday Fennell is expected to meet Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, and Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, who is heading the Group of Ministers overseeing the preparations for the Games.
The organising committee has set Aug 25 as the deadline when all the venues will be fully completed and the Games Village will be thrown open for athletes from Sep 16.