26 Sep 2010

NZ athletes advised not to rush Games decision

8:36 am on 26 September 2010

The Athletes Federation is encouraging Commonwealth Games competitors to wait another few days before making any firm decisions about whether to compete in Delhi.

On Friday, the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) confirmed it still intends to send a team to the Games, but is assessing the situation in Delhi daily.

The Committee says while there is no direct security threat to the Games, there are still concerns about transport, and health and hygiene in the athlete's village.

New Zealand's Chef de Mission, Dave Currie, is in Delhi monitoring those issues, and is expected to report back on any progress later this weekend.

The first New Zealand athletes had originally been scheduled to arrive in Delhi on Saturday but that was pushed back until at least Tuesday because of concerns about security and hygiene in the athletes' village.

New Zealand Athletes Federation head Rob Nichol said on Saturday the organisation is advising athletes to wait for a final verdict from the committee before making a decision.

"We know it's a very nervous time for the athletes, but put faith in the NZOC's process," Mr Nichol urged on Saturday.

"It's another 48 hours or so, and let's hope that 48 hours is enough to buy some time and to allow India to come through."

Cyclist Greg Henderson is the first New Zealand athlete to pull out of the Games, citing concerns about security and family reasons for his withdrawal.

Rob Nichol says most athletes have indicated they'll be happy to go along with the decision of the committee.