Delhi CWG facilities much better than before: British athletes (Second Lead)October 1st, 2010 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) British athletes have conveyed that the facilities at the Delhi Commonwealth Games were “much better” than at previous editions, even as India and Britain have agreed that President Pratibha Patil and Prince Charles and will jointly declare the Games open Sunday.
According to diplomatic sources, British players have conveyed that the facilities provided in the games were “much better than Manchester or Melbourne”.
“There are lots things that are better than previous games like Manchester and Melbourne,” they said, quoting the athletes. “They seemed very happy.”
On the issue of the Games opening ceremony, the sources said that there was “no dramatic” diplomatic fracas as had been made out by media reports. “Prince Charles will read out the Queen’s message and end with a phrase declaring the Games open. After that President Patil, on behalf of Delhi, will in her own words, ask for the Games to begin,” the sources said.
It was pointed out that it was a reflection of the “thesis of complementary partnership” between India and Britain.
On security concerns, the sources said the teams had been “reassured by the active role” of Delhi Police in the protection of the athletes.
British High Commissioner Richard Stagg himself had been stopped twice during his visits to the Commonwealth Games Village, as his official car driver did not have the proper security papers.
“We considered this as a positive thing,” said the sources, pointing out that this demonstrated the seriousness of the security protocol around the athletes.
The Commonwealth Games will start Sunday and end Oct 14.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will begin their four-day official visit Saturday. They will also attend a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Among other places they will go to are Patiala in Punjab and to Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Prince Charles will attending a number of events related to his favourite subject of climate change.
Besides his participation in the opening ceremony, he is also keen to watch an actual event. He is expected to witness the swimming heats Monday.
In Punjab, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be hosted by the erstwhile maharajah of Patiala and former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and his wife, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur.
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