Monday, October 4, 2010

2010 Commonwealth Games, Day Two: Medals, Laurels, and the Usual Complaints

"India at Commonwealth Games: Medals on field, laurels off it"
DNA (Daily News and Analysis) (October 5, 2010) (It's tomorrow now, in India)

"Could it be that the worst is over for the Commonwealth Games? The afterglow of a hitch-free opening ceremony is showing in Delhi. The new-found confidence is almost palpable - even the beleaguered Suresh Kalmadi is hitting back at critics. And to give the devil his due, he has reason to be satisfied.

"India fared well on Day Two, too, both on and off field. Carrying forward from the spectacular opening night, there were no visible or audible glitches - no one was complaining about security and hygiene. Not even about long wait for buses. In fact, the sceptics were singing paeans about India and New Delhi. The only glitch, it seemed, were the empty stands. But officials dismissed that concern as a Monday, and first day, syndrome...."

The Lemming is pretty much of the same page with DNA on this. India's leadership has either done a good job - or had the good sense to stay out of the way and let folks get the job done. Either way, well done.
"Games people play"
Karthik Krishnaswamy, Young World, The Hindu (October 5, 2010) (Dateline stuff again)

"Once every four years a major sports event takes place. Members of the Commonwealth of Nations come together to participate in the Commonwealth Games.

"The first time this event took place was in 1930. It was then known as the British Empire Games and 11 nations participated. It has been held regularly since then, with just one interruption in 1942, during World War II.

"After months spent attempting to scrub the stench of corruption and organisational incompetence off its frame, the 2010 Commonwealth Games is finally upon the capital.

"A dengue outbreak, the collapse of a foot overbridge outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the revelation that the Games village was in 'unlivable' condition two weeks to the start of the event, and heightened security fears following an attack of a tourist bus near the historic Jama Masjid have led to a host of athletes pulling out of the event...."

The article seems to be a pretty good backgrounder on the Commonwealth Games, and summary of what's happened so far.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are not perfect, though. Certainly not from the point of view of team-India boosters. The Indian athletes haven't been the top performers. So far.

What's happening off the field is important, too. Or at least interesting. The Commonwealth Games are international news, and a fair number of journalists around the world are acting like - well, like journalists.
"Commonwealth Games fans go missing"
ABC Grandstand Sport (Australia) (October 5, 2010) (It's tomorrow in Australia, too.)

"All across New Delhi, brightly-coloured posters plead 'Come out and play', but on Monday this teeming city opted to stay home instead as a wave of indifference greeted the Commonwealth Games.

"The opening day witnessed matches played out at eerily empty venues, a worrying sight for besieged organisers hoping that Sunday's widely-applauded opening ceremony had finally laid to rest the problem-plagued build-up.

" 'Australia 76 Spectators 58' reported The Sydney Morning Herald after the opening match of the netball competition at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex which can hold 4,500 people....

"...'In front of a crowd which would have fitted in a bus - just 58 legitimate spectators - the Diamonds scored more than a goal per fan in a 76-39 cruise past Samoa.'

"Despite the withering cynicism, fans and officials were convinced the situation will improve as the 11-day event progresses...."

Giving credit where credit is due, the Australian news service did mention - later in the article - that folks in India aren't all that much interested in the day's sports. And 58 fans in a 4,500-capacity venue is certainly newsworthy.
"Boxing weigh-in latest fiasco in troubled Games"
Reuters IN (October 4, 2010)

"The official weigh-in for the Commonwealth Games boxing competition ran into complete chaos on Monday with teams complaining of faulty test scales at the Talkatora Indoor stadium.

"Innacurate test scales had a string of boxers unnecessarily trying to shed weight to get into the desired category, Australia team spokesperson John Gatfield said.

" 'The athletes weighed themselves on the test scales, and found themselves to be over. They got back to the sauna trying to lose some weight and when they came back, they weighed more than the last reading,' Gatfield told Reuters.

" 'So there was a lot of chaos there and they have decided to have a second weigh-in Tuesday morning. It was really ridiculous.'..."

Okay: So paragraph one's "complete chaos" was demoted to "a lot of chaos" by paragraph four. There does seem to have been something wrong with the scales.

More about that SNAFU:Seriously, though: "Complete chaos?" The Lemming acknowledges that journalists like the word "chaos" - a lot. It's dramatic and sounds cool. Still: going from "complete chaos" to "a lot of chaos" in four paragraphs stretches that willing suspension of disbelief mighty thin.
All things considered, it's probably better for India if the pre-games publicity reeks, and the events go off reasonably well. Think what a PR problem they'd have on their hands if the headlines yesterday had been "Prince Charles Declared Dead at Scene" and "Aerostat Breaks Free, Hundreds Killed"

Yeah, it could have been a lot worse.

The most sensible statement made about the 2010 Commonwealth that the Lemming's run into so far was made by, of all people, a politico: (October 3, 2010)

...Asked if he was satisfied with the security arrangements, a smiling [Union Home Minister P.] Chidambaram told PTI, 'Ask me on October 14 and I will tell you.'..."
(DNA (October 3, 2010))

Related posts:


dinamalar said...

Dinamalar shares the joy of celebrating CWG in India by providing updates of CWG such as results, participants and etc.,

Further details Chk dis page :

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Everybody else,

Dinamalar is a Tamil Daily News website - in Tamil, for the most part. I enjoyed browsing the website, observing - and enjoying - its design and graphics.

But since Tamil is one of the languages I don't understand, most of its content went right past me.

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