Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Games Chaos Hasn't Caused Coe Any Alarm; COMMONWEALTH GAMES

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Games Chaos Hasn't Caused Coe Any Alarm; COMMONWEALTH GAMES

Article excerpt

SEBASTIAN Coe believes Delhi can host a successful Commonwealth Games despite the chaos that has surrounded the build-up.

Coe, the chairman of the London 2012 Olympics, has many relatives in Delhi - his mother was half-Indian - and he feels the Games can strike a blow for cities and countries that do not have a history of staging major events.

Coe (pictured right) visited the venues in the Indian capital a few weeks ago and having gauged the reaction of athletes arriving in Delhi, he is confident the Games can recover from last week when several teams came close to pulling out due to "filthy" conditions in the athletes' village and safety fears, and a number of individual competitors did so.

He said: "I believe that they are going to be a success and I say that with a little bit of self-interest because half my family live in Delhi, I'm half-Indian and I'm very proud the Commonwealth Games are going to be in that country. "I think when athletes and spectators get there they will find it an extremely hospitable environment and I think they will fall in love with India."

Coe said the Delhi organisers needed to ensure the Games worked for the athletes but the challenges they faced had to be recognised.

He added: "If you get it right for athletes, you get it right for so much of the project.

"You are going to give them a decent village, venues that work, training venues and a transport system that does not unravel within minutes.

"You have to hold organising committees to the same standards, as every competitor there will have spent more than half their young lives getting there."

A number of high-profile competitors such as world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu and 400 metres Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu have withdrawn and last night it was revealed Caster Semenya (pictured below) will also miss the Games because of a back injury.

The world 800 metres champion, who had shown good signs of improvement ever since returning from an 11-month track absence in mid-July, underwent scans in Johannesburg yesterday which confirmed the injury, a statement on the SASCOC's official website read. …

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