Friday, October 8, 2010

One step forward, two back at C’wealth Games; Pearson loses medal

The pool water is clean, but the toilets in the aquatic venue are blocked. Ticket sales are on the increase but the stadiums still seem mostly empty.

There was a “major communications blunder” at the track that nearly resulted in athletes presented with their medals despite the race being protested.

It’s day five of competition at the Commonwealth Games. But somehow, based on all the problems, they all seem to have a common theme.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell on Friday said officials at the athletics stadium erred the previous night by not telling the medalists in the women’s 100 that the event was under protest. Just as well, as the original winner, Sally Pearson of Australia, was later disqualified.

On a day when 43 gold medals will be presented, the sports often seemed to be an afterthought, not helped by a results system that has not worked properly since the games opened a week ago.

Fennell is part of what is called the “games-time management committee.” It meets every morning, and on Friday they had several new and continuing issues to handle: the reports of blocked toilets at the swimming venue; poor quality of food to volunteers; and trying to get approval for helicopters to encroachment on restricted airspace over the city for television coverage of the marathon and road cycling events. But the biggest question mark of all: if 900,000 tickets have been sold, why do many of the stadiums appear nearly empty?

Previous problems in the leadup to the games included construction delays, corruption allegations, concerns about security, outbreaks of Dengue fever and, perhaps the most damaging, complaints about unfinished and filthy accommodations in the athletes’ village just days before teams were due to arrive.

No comments:


back to top