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Officials concerned about C`wealth Games preparations

Press Trust Of India  |  Beijing 

Stunned by excellent facilities built in record time by the organisers of Beijing Olympics, sports officials from India lamented that preparations for hosting the were faltering.

"There is no doubt we are behind schedule right now," a senior Indian sports official told PTI here.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in Delhi from October 3-14.

"There is adhocism and lethargy," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"There is no clear planning and things are moving at snail's pace," another official said, expressing concern that Delhi may falter if no urgent decisions are taken to step up construction and related activities for hosting the prestigious event.

Other officials involved in the preparations for the Delhi Commonwealth Games said the sheer planning that has gone into the has stunned them.

A number of sports officials from India are currently camping here and visiting Beijing sports facilities to get first-hand knowledge of how the organisers of the Olympics managed to ensure world-class facilities in record time. "We are very impressed by what Beijing has done," one official said.

The Indian officials were also surprised by the ongoing gold sweep by Chinese athletes. Chinese coaches and athletes insist that there is no secret — just a tough training routine and the determination to win laurels for the motherland.

Even the Chinese sports officials have credited the foreign coaches for their significant contribution to the gold rush.

"Foreign coaches are 'significant elements' to help athletes improve their performances during the Olympic Games," a top Chinese sports official said.

"There are 38 foreign coaches from 16 countries in the Chinese delegation, and they worked over 17 sports disciplines," said Cui Dalin, deputy head of the Chinese delegation.

"Their advanced training methods and new concepts helped the Chinese athletes improve their performances at the Olympics. They have done a lot of good to Chinese sports."

Guided by French coach Christian Bauer, Chinese won the gold medal in men's sabre individual final, the country's second Olympic fencing gold in 24 years.

Chinese men's swimmer Zhang Lin, who is being trained by Australian Denis Cotterell since last year, made a breakthrough to win a silver at the ongoing Olympics.

The nation's success at the quadrennial event has also been attributed to the sports schools and the Chinese government's policy to encourage sports and games at all levels.

First Published: Mon, August 18 2008. 00:00 IST