Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Aus should trust India's security arrangements: Cathy

Olympic gold medallist sprinter Cathy Freeman on Tuesday called on her fellow Australian athletes to trust the security arrangements made by the Indian government and travel to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games in October.

The Olympics champion for 400m in the 2000 Sydney Games, Cathy, who is here for the Laureus world sports award as a member, said trusting the Indian officials will also help participants to concentrate more on their sports.

"Trust the policy maker, experts, officials (of the Commonwealth Games). As athletes they have to trust so that they can focus on their sport," Cathy said, when asked what would be her message to the Australian team which will travel to India for the quadrennial event to be held from October 3-14.

Asked about the assaults on Indian community Down Under, Cathy said, "It concerns me but it is not only specific to India but any people. It is definitely an issue which is at the heart of people's consciousness and awareness in Australia."

"I know what it feels to lose someone but I can assure you Australians generally are fair and good people. We will do what we need to do to ensure that everybody is safe," she added.

The four-time Commonwealth games gold medallist also felt that athletes all over the world should abide by the where about clause of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"I trusted the system, the rules. I became adaptable. I didn't feel that it intruded into my personal life and I was happy to cooperate on the issues that mattered. It was also important for my conscious," she said.

Cathy praised Olympics gold medallist sprinter Usain Bolt for his huge contribution towards making the sport clean and fair, especially after being maligned by dope cases.

"He (Usain) is amazing, extraordinary, a character. He seems to be a real delight. He has reignited people's faith and imagination. There was a time when the biggest fear for me was that everybody will assume that Olympics champions were druggist but Usain proved a point against that. He is a phenomenal sprinter."

Cathy, who won the Laureus award in 2001, said her experiences in life contributed towards taking an important decision to get associated with Laureus family as a academy members for the first time.

"When you feel pain, it doesn't have any other way but to face it and so you have to sort out what is meaningful to you and so I am here now. They are community oriented, willing to get their hands dirty to help people, talk about tough issues like, criminal activities, under-previleged and poor communities," said Cathy, who lost her brother Norman in a motor-cycle crash in 2008.

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