London: Transport and security woes came visiting the London Olympics organisers in ample measure ahead of the greatest sporting show on earth, forcing the athletes to experience a different kind of trouble at the Games Village here.
Sharing of a toilet among four spokespersons, and sometimes even by six athletes, is causing strain and forcing some of them to alter their morning schedules so as to manage essential routines.
"It's amazing that competitors have to get used to these sort of things at the biggest event of the world. This may just be design issue for the flats, but the athletes are getting quite stressed," said an Indian official who is part of the delegation staying at the Games Village.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said tempers had not frayed until now, but if an athlete spends extra time in the toilet, he tends to get glared at by others sharing the apartment.
Two others in the Indian contingent - a boxer and a shooter - confirmed that the toilet time was the first thing athletes got to discuss after checking into the Games Village.
"You can't just order a different flat with an extra toilet, so we have to deal with what is available. But come competition time, and this could become a serious matter," said the Indian shooter, preferring not to identified.
The boxer, who had also competed in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, said in retrospect the facilities inside the apartment in the 2010 Games Village seemed much better.
"So many sportsmen did not have to line up to use the toilet in any of the apartments in the Commonwealth Games Village," he said. The "toilet trouble" brings into light the complaint by Australian hockey coach Ric Charlesworth, who was livid that the original men's hockey draw gave his players three early morning starts.
Given three Australian matches, scheduled to begin at 8.30 am local time, Charlesworth said it would mean getting up at 5 am despite the Village being in the same Olympic Park arena where the hockey pitch was located.
If hockey teams were complaining even though they do not have to travel long distances for the matches, imagine the plight of shooters whose ranges are located far from the Village, the Indian shooter said.
Given the bonhomie that usually prevails among athletes representing their country at the Olympics, fist-fights may now occur among boxers, but shooters will probably need to fine-tune their morning routine before aiming to hit the Bull's Eye.
First Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 19:08