Countdown begins for Commonwealth Youth Games

July 3rd, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Pune, July 3 (IANS) With just 100 days to go for the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008, the Maharashtra government Thursday handed over the games venue here to the CYG organising committee. Out of nine venues housed in the mega sporting complex, Shiv Chhatrapati Krida Sankul, eight have been partly handed over to the CYG organising committee. The badminton hall which is still under construction will be officially handed over by the end of the month.

While the media and officials seemed concerned about the long-past deadline of May 31, organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi was confident of holding the games successfully.

“I am more than pleased with the pace of work in progress at the stadium. I have been a part of organising many international sporting events and the stage where the stadium is ready three months before the games calls for commendation,” he said, pointing out that in Beijing, where the Olympics event is scheduled just a month from now, the construction work is still on.

The Maharashtra government has spent close to Rs.1 billion on the preparation for the games.

The main stadium, also popularly known as the Balewadi Complex, has been equipped with world class facilities for holding the games in line with international standards.

A beaming Kalmadi disclosed to the assembled media that nearly 12 countries have already started making enquiries about availability of the stadium for holding camps to train athletes during the winter season.

In fact, according to Kalmadi, the greatest challenge before the organising committee is to make a prudent use of the facility once the games are over. Soon after the CYG, the World Badminton Championship is scheduled to take place in the same sporting arena.

The torch relay for CYG will start Aug 1 from Delhi University which will be travelling through 900 cities and towns across the country before reaching the venue.

The committee is to hold Friday an event to mark 100 days to go for the games. A series of programmes, including those organised by voluntary bodies, and official merchandise for the games would be unveiled, Kalmadi said.

Event Knowledge Services, a consultancy firm from Australia, has been assigned to take care of the overlays required for the games.

After the installation of equipment, a test-run will be conducted from Aug 29 to Sep 4, the CYG committee chief said.

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