Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three top England athletes pull out of CWG

There was more embarrassment on Wednesday as three top English athletes, including world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, pulled out of the Commonwealth Games scheduled to start on October 3. Besides Idowu, the other two athletes to pull out are Christine Ohuruogu and Lisa Dobriskey.

While Idowu has concerns over security preparations for the Games, Ohuruogu and Dobriskey both have injury worries.

On his Twitter feed, Idowu he said: "Sorry people, but I have children to think about. My safety is more important to them than a medal."

All three were scheduled to participate in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Top British trio pull out of Commonwealth Games

A trio of top British athletes, including injured Olympic 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu, pulled out of the troubled Commonwealth Games in India on Tuesday.

Ohuruogu, plagued by injury problems this year, suffered cramp in a training session over the weekend and decided to withdraw as a precaution from the event starting in New Delhi on Oct. 3.

Lisa Dobriskey, Commonwealth 1,500 metres champion and fourth over the distance at the European championships in Barcelona last month, said she had also run out of time having struggled with injury earlier in the season.

The BBC reported that world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu had meanwhile withdrawn over concerns about the Games preparations.

Organisers have endured a raft of criticism from competing teams over unfinished and unclean athletes' accommodation.

"I am disappointed to miss the Commonwealth Games after working so hard to get fit since my quad injury in June," Ohuruogu, 26, said in a statement.

"However, with the 2012 Olympic Games on the horizon the last thing an athlete wants to do is risk re-injury to the same muscle.

"It was very important for me to be cautious in dealing with my previous injury; although training was progressing well, intense competition over three days may prove to be more harmful than good and may compromise the long term functioning of the muscle."

Dobriskey said she had been looking forward to competing but had taken medical advice to rest and focus on winter season training working towards the 2011 indoor season.

"I'm really disappointed, but I just ran out of time. I want to wish all the best to the athletes out in Delhi," she said in a statement.

The Games have already been hit with several high profile withdrawals, including multiple Olympic champion Usain Bolt and Kenya's David Rudisha, who broke the 800 metres world record twice last month.

New Zealand officials arrive in Delhi to inspect facilities after complaints

New Zealand Olympic Committee officials have arrived in Delhi to inspect Commonwealth Games facilities and security after their team manager criticised the accommodation in place for athletes.

NZOC president Mike Stanley and secretary general Barry Maister set off for India following chef de mission Dave Currie''s disappointment at the state of the athletes' village.

Currie said on Monday the accommodation required "considerable work" before it would be habitable.

The New Zealand team were moved following their concerns over the cleanliness and amenities in their original housing, though Currie said in a NZOC statement on Wednesday there were still concerns.

"There is still a list of maintenance issues to be addressed," he said. "It's now up to the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Organising Committee to show us they can ready the village in time.

"We are working hard on behalf of our athletes."

Currie will show Stanley and Maister around the village later on Wednesday, while a security assessment will also be carried out.

The NZOC board are to meet in Auckland on Friday to discuss developments with the first New Zealand athletes for the October 3-14 Games due in the Indian capital on Saturday.

Commonwealth Games in Crisis

COMMONWEALTH Games organisers have suffered a major set back — after a bridge close to the main stadium collapsed. Several people are said to have suffered injuries in the accident in New Delhi.

The horror comes after a number of countries' team leaders, including those from England, Scotland and Wales, expressed "grave concerns" over the standard of the athletes' village being built by the Indian organisers.

With less than two weeks to go until the Games are due to open, doubts have been cast over whether they can still go ahead.

The bridge collapsed near the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium — the main venue for the Games.

The 100-metre long bridge was being built to provide better access to the stadium from a car park.

Officials said the bridge collapsed when labourers were applying a concrete layer to the structure.

It is further bad news for organisers already reeling after several nations this morning expressed concern at the athletes' accommodation.

Team leaders claimed some of the village was "unsafe and unfit for human habitation".

A statement from Commonwealth Games Scotland today confirmed the crisis, saying: "Representation has been made to the Commonwealth Games Federation to make a realistic decision as to at what point and under what conditions they would determine whether the Games will be able to go ahead should the village issues not be resolved."

The Scottish team has been given other accommodation after complaining — but even that was not up to standard and had to be cleaned and mended.

The Games start on October 3, with 6,500 athletes due to start arriving within days.

Commonwealth Games England said although they remained optimistic the event can go ahead, there was a need for "urgent" work, especially with plumbing and electrics.

Michael Fennell, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, has admitted the village is "seriously compromised" and has written to the Indian Cabinet Secretary expressing his "great concern".

He said: "The village is the cornerstone of any Games and the athletes deserve the best possible environment to prepare for their competition.

"Many nations that have already sent their advanced parties to set up within the village have made it abundantly clear that, as of the afternoon of September 20, the Commonwealth Games village is seriously compromised."

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