New Delhi: Amid apprehensions about the quality of the venues and preparedness of sporting facilities, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi has expressed confidence, saying that all venues for the upcoming mega-event are ready and capable of hosting any event at short notice.
"All the venues are ready. I would like to tell you, there were grave apprehensions, but we told you that all the venues would be ready. There was rainfall, there were problems, but we are ready to host the games," said Kalmadi.
"All our teams are ready, our venue managers are in place, all the venue teams are in place, we are set to hold a very good competition for the Commonwealth Games," he added, while speaking on Sunday at the Thyagaraj Stadium, the venue for netball competitions.
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Meanwhile, speaking about the swimming venue, which had come under a lot of criticism earlier for shoddy work, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee secretary general Lalit Bhanot said now the stadium stands at par with any good international venue.
"It is a world level stadium, it is a world class stadium. Nobody ever dreamt that this is going to be such a good stadium. It is very outstanding, good stadium. We are proud of this stadium," said a confident Bhanot.
Built at a cost of around three billion rupees, the Thyagaraj Sports Complex, touted as a self-reliant and green venue, is among the first of the Games-related venues to meet its deadline.
The playing arenas, warm-up areas, media centres and other facilities at the complex is comparable to the best in the world.
Aquatics events will be hosted at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium. Though the swimming pools at the well-lit facility looked ready to take a dive but the work at this venue is still a week away from completion.
The swimming complex has been refurbished at a cost of Rs. 3.77 billion.
The boxing facility at the state-of-the-art Talkatora Stadium, built at Rs 1.5 billion, is all set for the event.
India has high hopes of medals from its boxers and the facility at the boxing venue would sure give a boost to those aspirations.
"We have got 241 entries from 48 countries. Very good entries in all 10 weight categories, we have got very stiff competition, but our Indian team will do very well," said an official at the venue.
The Siri Fort Sports Complex, which would host the squash and badminton events, has been turned into a world-class facility at a cost of around Rs. 2.5 billion.
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The venue boasts of state-of-the-art four sided glass court that can be expanded into a doubles court automatically.
The race to be ready for the games has now come down to the wire, but finally India seems to be inching close to hosting a successful Commonwealth Games.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games, which kicks off on October 3, is India's biggest sporting event since the 1982 Asian Games.
India is expecting about two million tourists in New Delhi for the Games, as well as about 10,000 athletes from 71 teams representing 54 Commonwealth member states.