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England Games accommodation ‘not perfect, but acceptable’

The first English athletes arrive at the Commonwealth Games accommodation having spent the weekend in hotels.

Andrew Bree and Melanie Nocher arrive in Belfast to depart for Delhi where they will represent Northern Ireland.
Andrew Bree and Melanie Nocher arrive in Belfast to depart for Delhi where they will represent Northern Ireland.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Wire

THE FIRST ENGLISH ATHLETES have begun to move into the athletes’ accommodation at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, having spent the weekend in hotels in Delhi.

48 early arrivals, most of whom form the English shooting and hockey squads, moved into the Athletes’ Village yesterday with the team’s chief Craig Hunter declaring the village “not perfect, but the accommodation is acceptable.”

The team had been joined by about 80 Scottish and 50 Welsh athletes. New Zealand athletes similarly declared the village “habitable“.

Games organisers say about 80% of the flats in the village are now ready for inhabitable. ”I don’t think they have seen a Games village like this anywhere else,” said Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the organising committee. “There is no more scope for improvement.”

The Games have been plagued by organisational difficulties, not least of which the unfinished Athletes’ Village which was shown last week to be leaky, covered in mildew and generally unfit for purpose. A snake was found in one bedroom as workers rushed to make the village inhabitable.

The Pakistani delegation remains unconvinced about the quality of the accommodation, however, saying it was “not fit enough to live in” and issuing an ultimatum for alternate accommodation before the games begin next weekend.

An Indian boxer who took gold at the last games complained on Sunday when his bed collapsed after he sat on it.

Akhil Kumar told the Times of India that he “checked the bed and part of it had no plywood on it. It was disappointing after enduring a long journey. The athletes are at least entitled to a decent place to rest. Even the toilets are not very clean.”

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