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Dai Greene disappointed by number of Delhi withdrawals

Hurdler Dai Greene says he has unfinished Commonwealth Games business
Dai Greene says he has unfinished Commonwealth Games business

Welsh 400m hurdler Dai Greene has questioned the number of withdrawals from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Health and safety fears over venues and the athletes' village have seen teams delay their arrival, while a spate of world-class athletes have pulled out.

"I think a lot of people would definitely have gone out there if it was the Olympic Games," the European champion told BBC Radio 5 live.

Cycling star Geraint Thomas and triple jumper Phillips Idowu have pulled out.

Olympic and world record breaking sprinter Usain Bolt has has confirmed he will not take part in the 19th Commonwealth Games, which starts in the Indian capital on October 3.

While cycling's Sir Chris Hoy, who won three gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, is also planning to miss the Delhi showpiece.

In contrast to much of the rest of the athletes' village, the Team Wales block is in a much better state
Team Wales say their block is in a much better state than others

Recent photographs from Delhi showed dirty bathrooms, animal footprints on beds, exposed wiring and flooding outside the buildings at the athletes' village.

A pedestrian footbridge to the centrepiece Jawaharlal Nehru stadium also collapsed, injuring 23 people, and part of a false ceiling at the weightlifting venue fell down.

Team Wales and Team England both confirmed on Thursday that they would travel to Delhi, and Greene has been encouraged by the relatively better state of the Welsh accommodation.

"I've been in close contact with the guys at Team Wales, I know they've been over there for the past couple of weeks sorting things out," Greene said.

"They've been well ahead of schedule and they've found the problems very early.

If I perform to the best of my ability then I know I can come away with the gold.

Welsh 400m hurdler Dai Greene

"In terms of accommodation for Team Wales it's slightly different to where Team England and Team Scotland are staying and we've had the thumbs up and everything's OK.

"Team Wales have been in constant contact, telling me how things are going so I'm not sitting at home looking on the internet, panicking myself, and I know exactly what's going on out there."

While disappointed by the number of competitors who have opted not to travel to Delhi, Greene says he understands that some individuals have good reasons for staying behind.

"I am concerned but I'm taking every precaution to make sure I won't catch any fevers or what-not," Greene added.

"In Geraint (Thomas') situation I know he underwent some treatment recently which means that his immune system was below par and he was planning on being in the village for a lot longer than I was as well.

"I can sympathise with Phillip (Idowu's) position, again it's slightly different to my own.

"I don't think any athlete would be looked at badly if they were to withdraw from the competition... but as far as I'm concerned I've had loads of reassurances from Team Wales and everything in our camp looks very good.

David Bond's blog

The Swansea Harrier had been due to take part in the 4x400m four years ago at the Melbourne Games, but injury left Wales with only three competitors.

"Four years ago in Melbourne I didn't get to run, I was told the day of the heats of the 4x400m that we were going to pull out," Greene said.

"So I've definitely got some unfinished business and to do it in a Welsh vest means that little bit more really.

"When I get out there all I want to do is perform to the best of my ability. If I perform to the best of my ability then I know I can come away with the gold.

"Training in the last week has maybe been a little bit tougher because of all this news from Delhi but I've got a good coach, I've got a good staff around me and they've managed to keep me focused."

Green recently lowered his personal to 47.88 secs in Zagreb and hopes to add a Commonwealth crown to his European title.



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see also
Thomas pulls out of Delhi Games
24 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Wales green light for Games trip
23 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
England urge more work in Delhi
24 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Photographs expose Delhi concerns
23 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Delhi Games village 'will be ready'
21 Sep 10 |  South Asia
Commonwealth Team Wales 2010
15 Oct 10 |  Wales


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