Aussie sports heads gives thumbs up to CWG preparations

Updated: Jun 24, 2010, 19:14 PM IST

Melbourne: Few months back, Australian sports officials were the harshest critics of Delhi`s preparation for the Commonwealth Games but 100 days before the event, they have only fulsome praise for the organisers for completing the venues in time.

Australian managers from 17 sports toured Delhi last week and returned home pleasantly surprised with the quality of the facilities and declaring that all the venues are on target for the October 3-14 Games.

"I think they went over there expecting possibly to see unfinished venues and problems associated with some of the competition venues," Australian Commonwealth Games Assocition chief executive officer Perry Crosswhite said.

"But actually, to a person, they were all very impressed with what they saw. There is still work to be done of course, but certainly it was beyond the expectations that they had, so everything is happy from that point of view," he was quoted as saying.

The two-day reconnaissance mission allayed most of their fear and Australian swimming head coach Leigh Nugent was impressed by the swimming venue.

"It was a very encouraging visit. I think they have done a great job - all the reports we had early on that they would struggle to finish it, it doesn`t look that way now. The big jobs are done and they are paying attention now to the detail," Nugent said.

He said the athletes village still resembled a building site but "looked fantastic".

"The swimming venue at Dr SP Mukherjee Swimming Stadium was state of the art. It appeared as though it could probably seat about 10,000 people and the pools were tiled and finished," Nugent added.

Athletics Australia`s high performance manager Eric Hollingsworth was also impressed with the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where track and field events, the opening and closing ceremony will be held.

"From a track and field perspective, the stadium, the warm up facilities, were even ahead of what I thought they were going to be," Hollingsworth said.

"It`s almost just the little fiddly bits left and the clean up operation in the stadium...it`s quite impressive, I think there will be no problem there.”

"All the facilities, although not completed, were certainly a long way down the road and they have got no problems, from my assessment, that they will be finished in time for the Games," Hollingsworth added.

PTI