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Page last updated at 05:17 GMT, Wednesday, 6 October 2010 06:17 UK

Commonwealth Games 2010: Venue 'ready' for athletics

Games athletic track

Jonathan Edwards says athletes have been shocked by the track

Officials say repairs have ensured the Commonwealth Games stadium in Delhi will be ready for the start of the athletics events on Wednesday.

Work went on overnight to resurface the damaged track, while grass was laid on bare parts of the in-field.

Games Federation president Mike Fennell told reporters: "Repair work has been completed at the athletics stadium.

"It was all done, checked this morning by the technical delegate and he has informed us that all systems are go."

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium track reportedly suffered damage during Sunday's spectacular opening ceremony.

"Unfortunately when you have a ceremony on the same site as the athletics facilities you can have some damage to the facilities. The protective measures that you take do not guarantee that there is no damage," added Fennell.

One group of workers were seen shovelling buckets of thick mud out of the steeplechase water jump and using a cycle-wheelbarrow contraption to ferry it away.

The Delhi Games has been blighted by concerns that venues and accommodation would not be completed, as well as a collapsed bridge near the main stadium.

A number of countries delayed the arrival of their competitors with the athletes' village being described as "inhospitable" just last week.

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And on Tuesday, it emerged that urgent repair work was needed on the athletics track.

"This is a culture where things are got ready at the last minute but there are very real concerns," said BBC Sport's Jonathan Edwards.

"I've seen a number of athletes come in and I think they're in shock."

Despite the concerns, all the competitions have so far started as scheduled.

The athletics action kicks off on Wednesday at 1300 BST and Edwards, part of the BBC Sport team covering the event, was inside the stadium on Tuesday to witness the track being resurfaced and being painted at the 1500m start.

The former Olympic triple jump champion told BBC Sport's athletics reporter Phil Jones: "They're relaying part of the track which I think was damaged during the opening ceremony.

"For a top athlete coming into a stadium this is not what you expect. It's beyond anything I imagined."

The Games has suffered a number of organisational difficulties, including complaints about filthy conditions, infrastructure problems and even a snake being found both in a competitor's room and at the tennis stadium.

As well as the collapsed bridge, the ceiling at the weightlifting arena also suffered structural damage.

However, six days before the opening ceremony the organising committee declared accommodation fit for habitation and many of the competitors were then satisfied to move into the village.

Dean Macey, in Delhi for commentary duties with BBC Radio 5 live, also witnessed the urgent repairs inside the stadium built in 1982 for the Asian Games.

"There is still an awful lot to be done," the 2006 Commonwealth Games decathlon champion said on Tuesday. "There are tractors all over the place.

"It's a little bit of a worrying situation but that's the way the Indians do it. There is a lot to be done but it wouldn't surprise me if they pulled it off."



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see also
Commonwealth Games photos
05 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
England and Scotland strike gold
05 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Shooters win India's first golds
05 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games begin in Delhi
03 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
UKA concern over Games absentees
02 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Warnings not heeded - Games chief
01 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
England athletes move to village
27 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Greene queries Delhi withdrawals
24 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games


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