Delhi Belly, false starts, moths and empty seats… Amongst other things of course. If the lead-up to the 2010 commonwealth Games was farcical, the actual event isn’t far off.
With confusion surrounding the readiness of the facilities, the security for the athletes and officials and of course the outbreak of Dengue Fever, it’s hard to imagine the actual event itself could be worse than the drama leading up to it, however sadly for India, it is.
The crowds aren’t showing up as organisers had expected, largely due to the asking price of between 50 and 1000 rupee which takes the typical Indian between 13 and 260 days to earn. In addition to this, Indians simply aren’t interested in sports such as swimming, cycling and athletics, all they care about is hockey, shooting and weightlifting.
The presence of moths at both the athletics and swimming facilities has proven disastrous with numerous events being delayed until the bothersome insects vanished. Furthermore, English sprinter Laura Turner claims to have swallowed a moth whilst on the starting blocks waiting to commence the now controversial women’s 100m sprint, which resulted in her false starting. The race itself was also filled with drama after Australia’s Sally Pearson was also found to have false started. Despite both sprinters false-starting, the race was allowed to continue with all runners competing. Pearson went on to win the race and was lead to believe the gold was hers, until a successful protest from both England and Nigeria saw her stripped of the medal. Pearson was reduced to tears, just hours after celebrating one of the biggest moments in her flourishing career.
The competition itself is of a reasonably high standard, however the results are predictable and the Australian dominance is somewhat trivial. As it stands, not even five days into the event, Australia is so far ahead of the competition on the medal tally, that every gold medal isn’t even being reported.
Finally, an outbreak of ‘Delhi Belly’ which has affected a large number of British and Australian athletes has been blamed on the water in the pools at Dr S.P. Mukerjhee Aquatics Centre. Three Australians have come down with gastroenteritis, including Andrew Lauterstein and Hayden Stoeckel who pulled out of their events on Thursday, while at least ten other swimmers have also been afflicted with a milder form of ‘Delhi Belly’. English swimmers Fran Halsall and Rebecca Adlington have also been brought down by upset stomachs but have still been able to compete. British media report up to 40 of their teammates have also been hit.
There were fears leading into the event that the reputation of the once famous commonwealth Games could be permanently tarnished and the future of the games placed in jeopardy. Not even halfway through and the future is looking bleak.