Star pull-outs not a concern: Coe and Holmes
A few star pull-outs will not affect the charm and sheen of the Commonwealth Games which remains an excellent platform for the young athletes, feel British Olympians Sebastian Coe and Dame Kelly Holmes.
New Delhi: A few star pull-outs will not affect the charm and sheen of the Commonwealth Games which remains an excellent platform for the young athletes, feel British Olympians Sebastian Coe and Dame Kelly Holmes.
Coe and Holmes, who were in the capital as part of the delegation visiting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, feels the quadrennial multi-discipline event has helped a number of sports persons to prove their mettle for years and this year`s edition would not be an exception.
"The Commonwealth Games is really important. I always encourage athletes to participate in this event. It helps to prove themselves and they also get valuable experience. So a few pull-outs are not matter of concern," said Coe, who had clinched 1500m gold at the Olympic Games in 1980 (Moscow) and 1984 (Los Angeles).
His compatriot Holmes, who had won gold at Athens Olympic in 2004, also expressed similar view.
Commonwealth has helped a number of sports persons to come to the limelight. If you win even a bronze medal in a Commonwealth Games, people come to know your name which helps you. So the Games is important in its own way and two-three pull-outs don`t matter," Holmes said on the sideline of a promotional programme here.
"Its a massive platform for the young ones," she added.
Even the travelling Sports Secretary of England Jeremy Hunt, who was also present on the occasion, said: "We don`t really have control over what the athletes feel to do."
Australian tennis ace Samantha Stosur yesterday became the latest star athlete to withdraw from the commonwealth Games to focus on top WTA tournaments. Leading athletes like Usain Bolt, Chris Hoy and Shelly-Ann Fraser have also pulled out from the Delhi Games.
Both the Olympians feels the Games will leave a rich legacy for the country but said the facilities and infrastructure coming up for the October 3-14 event must be conserved properly.
"Yes, this is a challenge every city organising a big event faces. We can think about a smart partnership - may it be private or public. We should think about converting these facilities into the sporting hubs," Coe said.