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Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Wednesday, 6 October 2010 18:57 UK

Commonwealth Games 2010: Dash around Delhi

Rishi Persad

Rishi's Delhi venue tuk-tuk dash (UK only)

By Rishi Persad
BBC Sport reporter in Delhi

The theory was simple: visit each of the venues hosting action on day two of the Commonwealth Games using the local three-wheel taxi, the "tuk-tuk".

In practice it was a little more difficult:

0900 Indian Standard Time (0430 BST) - The quest begins at India Gate, one of the iconic monuments of Delhi, where I jump in my first tuk-tuk on the way to the Jawarhalal Nehru Stadium.

There is one security check to get into the stadium and another to get into the lawn bowls. The locals in charge of security are very thorough.

1205 - Pull up at the Yamuna Sports Complex to catch some of the archery, but, after getting my first taste of Delhi's notorious traffic, I'm too late to see and bow-and-arrow action. But at least I get frisked again by security. Twice.

1300 - Next is the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex. After two security checks on my person, I begin the search for the velodrome to see some cycling. Get a glimpse of Wales' Becky James, who is leading the 500m time trial as we leave, on her way to a bronze medal.

The signage at the venues is not good enough, nor prominent, so you waste time looking for signs to point you in the right direction. Asking someone who should know often leads to plenty of gesticulating in general but results in very little in particular.

1400 - Three venues down, six to go. The National Stadium for hockey next, where signs are clear and the volunteers well-briefed. I get frisked for the seventh and eighth time of the day but unfortunately still arrive early enough to witness the end of Australia's resounding 11-0 victory over Trinidad, the land of my birth.

1525 - Arrive at the S P Mukherjee Sports Complex for swimming. At this point the security checks are becoming incredibly tedious. I understand that we must be vigilant, but these checks are repeated when you are already in the venue and you have just been through a thorough search.

1645 - A quick stop at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium, at about the time when Scotland's Jamie Murray is playing in the singles, but there is no time to enjoy the action as daylight will soon be disappearing.

1745 - At the Thyagraj Sports Complex. Again the mandatory two security checks. Each venue varies what is allowed and what isn't. Get to see my first netball match as Australia take on India. There seems to be a fairly decent crowd, although the hosts are a whopping 95-17 down as I leave.

1830 - Seven venues down. Next on the list is supposed to be the Karni Singh Shooting Range but we can't get there via tuk-tuk as it is too far away, so just one more to do.

1930 - The Siri Fort Sports Complex is the final stop, home to badminton and squash. Sadly the locals working at the venue don't seem to know which sport is which and direct me to squash thinking it's badminton, which means three more security checks, bringing the total to 14 for the day. I'm numb from the neck down.

At the end of an exhausting day, I think it would be impossible to visit every venue in a single day, unless you had VIP access to the Commonwealth Games lanes around Delhi and VIP access to drive your VIP car right up to the VIP drop-off point.

But then who, other than VIPs and the occasional TV reporter, would want to attempt nine venues in a single day?

Security is excellent, but takes a very long time, which is probably the nature of the beast. The staff at the venues need to be more clearly briefed. There is little food available but plenty of water and soft drinks.

The crowds are still quite low, although goodness knows how long it would take to repeat my feat if the people of Delhi ever decided to follow the mantra of the Games and "come out and play".



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