Glasgow: Indian officials, who are travelling with the contingent today said that the 'Athletes Village' here was far inferior to the one in Delhi during the the last edition of the Commonwealth Games. India was criticised by some countries for the "poor hygiene" and "lack of facilities" at the Games Village in 2010 but the officials here said what has been offered in Glasgow was much below par than what one witnessed during the Delhi edition.
Indian contingent chef de mission Raj Singh said that the Games Village lack space while the athletes had to do with lesser number of bathrooms and TV sets. He said he was not complaining but bringing out the facts, lamenting on the lack of training facilities at the Games Village and also absence of food variety. He said the gym for physical training of athletes was small and has limited work stations.
"We were at the receiving end when we hosted the Games in 2010. But what we are getting at the Athletes Village in Glasgow is much below par compared to what India had given in 2010. Looking back in four years, I feel India had provided great facilities to the participating athletes," he told the Indian media contingent, here today. "At the Games Village here, the bathrooms are not attached to each room and the athletes will have to share bathrooms. In Delhi, we provided attached bathrooms with each apartment," he said.
"The gym has not many work stations and enough equipments for several athlete to work out simultaneously. It lacks space. It is not much of a problem and we are managing, but it cannot be compared to what was offered in Delhi." "Then, there are not enough television sets for athletes to relax and watch some programmes on TV. An entire block has just one TV set." Talking about the food offered in Glasgow, he said, "The food lacks variety. In Delhi, we gave more than 200 dishes but here it is not enough.
We are not getting the variety of food which suited us. But we are managing." "In Delhi, we had training facilities for weightlifting and other indoor sports at Games VIllage itself but there is none here. We had a 400m training track in Delhi but not here. Basically, the entire Games Village is small in space as compared to that in Delhi."
Athletics head coach Bahadur Singh completely agreed with Raj Singh, saying that the facilities at the Athlertes Village at Glasgow was not even half that was offered in Delhi. "You cannot compare the facilities here in Glasgow with those in Delhi. What we gave in Delhi was much much better. I would say the facilities here were not even 50 percent of that provided in Delhi," Bahadur told PTI. "Take the case of limited number of bathrooms here.
Four rooms (with at least two athletes sharing a room) share a bathroom. The bathrooms are not attached to each room and you have to go at the end of a row of rooms to use the facility. It is not ideal with eight people sharing a bathroom but manageable. But in Delhi, the organisers gave bathrooms attached to each room," he said. "For training, we are going to the training track beside the main Hampden Park where athletics events will be held. It is not very far off but it is always better if you have training track at the Games Village itself."
The Indian chef-de-mission, meanwhile, conceded that there was some delay in the arrangement of ceremonial attire for the Indian contingent but assured that all the athletes will get them in time. "The IOA Committee to decide on this issue of ceremonial dress which included myself delayed a bit in taking a decision. But it is not an issue and all the athletes will get the ceremonial dress for the opening ceremony tomorrow," he said. Some sports contingent, including weightlifters, got the ceremonial dress only today.
"We have already given the sports kits, including track suits, shoes, bags etc. But I think some athletes are yet to get the ceremonial dress for the opening ceremony. But all of them will get the dress today." He said men members will wear a black blazer, gray trouser and hushpuppy shoes along with the traditional turban. "Women athletes will wear saris and we have three sets of saris with us. We will decide which one will be used." Regarding the issue of boxing coaches being told by organisers that they will not be allowed to sit beside the ring while their wards were having their bouts, Raj Singh said the matter has been sorted out with the AIBA.
"The matter is sorted out now. The coaches will be able to be present beside the ring." 2012 London Olympian silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar will be the flag bearer for India in the opening ceremony tomorrow. Some Indian athletes who have their events the next day on July 24, including women's 48 kg and 53kg wieghtlitfers will not take part in the Parade of Nations at the Celtic Park.