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    September 25

  • 04:32 PM

Commonwealth Games at risk; under 2 weeks left

rhondathompson, rhondathompson@nationnews.com

Added 21 September 2010


NEW DELHI – Less than two weeks before it begins, one of the world's biggest sports events is in jeopardy as organisers struggle to cope with unfinished buildings, a filthy athletes' village called "unfit for human habitation," a bridge collapse, concerns over security and corruption, and an outbreak of dengue fever. The Commonwealth Games, which bring together more than 7 000 athletes from the 71 countries and territories every four years, was supposed to showcase the emerging power of India — just as the 2008 Beijing Olympics did for China. Instead, the October 3-14 games in New Delhi are highlighting the problems in the developing nation of more than one billion people that is still plagued by vast areas of poverty. The frenzied, last-minute preparations are in such disarray that some officials are speculating that a few teams could withdraw or the event could be called off. The latest blow came today, with the collapse of a footbridge being built to connect the main stadium to a parking lot. Police said 23 construction workers were injured, five seriously. Hours earlier, the Commonwealth Games Federation urged the Indian government to finish work on the athletes' village, which is due to open Thursday. In addition to shoddy conditions inside and outside the buildings, there also are problems with plumbing, wiring, furnishings, Internet access and cell phone coverage. (AP)


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