Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canada orders CWG athletes to delay trip to New Delhi

Canada Wednesday told some of its athletes to delay their journey to New Delhi for the Commonwealth Games beginning Oct 3, saying a decision will be taken once it is confident their sportspersons are ’safe and healthy’.

The Canadian women’s field hockey team, three shooters and several members of the delegation’s mission staff were scheduled to leave for New Delhi Thursday, the media reported here.

Commonwealth Games Canada said the athletes will not be departing for Delhi as scheduled.

‘We cannot put (athletes) in rooms unless we are confident they are safe and healthy,’ Canadian chef de mission Martha Deacon told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

He said Canadian Commonwealth Games officials are monitoring the situation and will decide whether Canadian athletes should go to Delhi.

‘We have to review that in the next couple of days, and we’re keeping a very close pulse on (questions of) is this safe, is this meaningful, is this going to be an experience we promised our athletes and coaches… and that becomes the 64 million dollar question.’

The decision has been taken as New Delhi is still scrambling to improve conditions at the athletes village as demanded by many nations, including Canada, Scotland, New Zealand and Britain.

Canadian officials said the accommodation in the Games village was still not in a liveable condition.

Reacting to withdrawal of two world champions – Australian discus thrower Dani Samuels and England triple jumper Phillips Idowu – from the Games, Canadian shot putter gold medal favourite Dylan Armstrong said the withdrawals may have a domino effect with more athletes pulling out of the Games.

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