17 Sep 2010

Athletes' accommodation at Games not ready

10:58 pm on 17 September 2010

Accommodation is still not ready for New Zealand athletes set to leave for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next week.

A contingent of New Zealand Olympic Committee officials is in India checking on security, infrastructure and other issues.

The visit follows disquiet over terrorist threats against competitors in February this year, as well as a particularly severe outbreak of dengue fever.

Chef de mission Dave Currie says while construction at the Games Village is complete, the final touches are yet to be put on Tower 32 which will house the New Zealand team.

Mr Currie says the accommodation needed only a final clean-up and would have to be ready by 25 September when the first athletes are due to arrive.

He says the athletes' recreational and training areas are very good, as is the dining hall.

Mr Currie says there is a very high security presence. He says the intention is for New Zealand athletes to go to the Games - but that may change if his evaluations cause him concern.

Dengue fever a worry

The late monsoon season is also still causing problems, with pools of water around many venues.

Dengue fever is the issue of the moment in Delhi, but the head of the organising committee, Suresh Kilmadi, says they are working very hard on eradicating the mosquitoes generated by the longer than expected monsoon season.

The New Zealand team doctor for the Games says that in the end it is up to individuals to remain healthy during their time in Delhi.

Dr Lynne Coleman says that 70% to 80% of the team will be fully immunised. Vaccination had not been recommended as necessary for mosquito-borne diseases, she says.