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Delhi delight for Team SA

In peak hour traffic, the second wave of South Africa’s Commonwealth Games athletes were whisked from the airport, an armed escort accompanying them, as they were taken to a five-star hotel for their first night in New Delhi.

On Tuesday the team will move into the athletes village, only days ago described as ÔÇ£unliveableÔÇØ. Graphic images of filthy bathrooms and bedrooms spooked many countries’ federations, but less than a week out from the opening ceremony, a minor miracle has been performed.

Some 60-odd competitors, from netball to hockey to boxing amongst others, were quickly processed at Delhi’s IGI Airport and then taken to their city hotel in a manner which defied those calling these the ÔÇ£Shame GamesÔÇØ.

Without doubt, India have been stung by universal outrage towards the tardiness of their preparations. But the past few days has seen a remarkable turnaround. First impressions are that the show will go on ÔÇô and it will be a show that ultimately meets universal approval.

The next few days will see the rest of Team South Africa arrive in India, with the track and field side expected on October 1. Reacting to reports that the likes of Olympic silver medallist long jumper Khotso Mokoena, along with world 800m champions Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Caster Semenya had ÔÇ£injury problemsÔÇØ and were ÔÇ£doubtful, the CEO of governing body SASCOC, Tubby Reddy, called for a measured approach.

ÔÇ£It would be unfortunate for quality athletes of the calibre of Mokoena, Mulaudzi and Semenya to miss these important Games. But we still have a few days before final decisions are taken. It may well be that SASCOC insists that the injured athletes are examined by SASCOC medical staff, and a decision is based on their assessment.,ÔÇØ he said.

Athletes had left Johannesburg on Sunday with some trepidation following the mass media hysteria over conditions in New Delhi. However, 24 hours later, that perception had changed rather radically. Which augurs well for what lies ahead.


1 comments
Pieter Vermaak
Pieter Vermaak

great news!! go Team SA, focus on the Games! bring home the medals!!