Guangzhou says ready for Asian Games, while Delhi struggles with CWG

     While New Delhi continues to face criticism over leaking stadia and lack of preparedness for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Chinese city of Guangzhou is leaving no stone unturned to pitch the message that it is ready to host the 16th Asian Games from November 12 to 27. While Delhi has 60 days left to get the games on anvil, Guangzhou , which is expected to be seen by over three million spectators, is ready 100 days in advance. Over 14,000 athletes, trainers and coaches from 45 countries and regions are expected to compete in a total of 476 events in 42 sports. A major televised event from Tianhe Gymnasium to mark the 100-day Countdown Ceremony entitled 'Dream About This Momenta' featured four parts and lasted for 100 minutes. On the other hand, with less than two months to go, the 2010 CWG is mired in controversy over financial irregularities, missed deadlines and substandard construction. Speaking about the forthcoming Games, Executive Deputy Secretary General of the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (GAGOC) and Vice Mayor of Guangzhou Xu Ruisheng said: "The 16th Asian Games will leave rich legacies and benefit local residents." "The Games will prove to be a highly engaging sport and cultural gala. Guangzhou has built substantial venues for the Games, including the futuristic Asian Games Gymnasium located at Asian Games Town ," he added thanking Guangzhou citizens for their constant support of and involvement in the preparations for the 16th Asian Games. Built at a cost of nearly US dollar118 million, the ultramodern Asian Games Gymnasium comprises stadiums for gymnasium, billiard sports and squash and an exhibition hall featuring the history of the Asian Games in Guangzhou . Following reports of corruption, many institutions have pulled out of giving financial aid to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. The Board of Cricket Control in India has refused to give Rs 100 crore as aid to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) The Indian Railways has withheld its contribution of Rs 100 crore asking the CGOC to give in writing that no amount would go to any outside agency as commission. There was an uproar in the ongoing session of Parliament, with the opposition demanding Kalmadi's resignation. The media is coming out with negative reports about the CGOC, with claims of access to various reports and documents, citing irregularities. The event, supposed to be the nation's pride, is fast finding itself in a maze of missed deadlines, CBI inquiries, CVC reports, sub-standard materials and explanations. The gymnasium stadium offers 6,000 seats, with 2,000 more to be added after the Games and has a gross floor area of 31,482 square meters. Seven years ago, the land, which today comprises Asian Games Town , was filled with rice paddies and water buffalo. After the Games, it will be a brand new residential area for more than 35,000 people. Vice Mayor Xu also pointed to the post-Games uses of venues reflecting lasting benefits for all Guangzhou citizens. Venues in the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre including the new Velodrome and Cricket Stadium will greatly enhance the universities' infrastructure for physical education, the Zengcheng Dragon Boat Lake will be a public park; the Guangzhou Equestrian Venue in Conghua will be used as a training base for the Hong Kong Jockey Club and is expected boost Conghua's tourism and the Asian Games Town Gymnasium will be available to host basketball, volleyball and badminton competition as well as exhibitions and concerts The OC and Delhi Government are repeatedly holding press conferences assuring the public that Delhi will be ready to host the Games. Experts and commentators agree with the OC, saying that Delhi will be ready 'in the last minute' while also raising concerns of sub standard quality and player safety. Hurrying things up might just compromise the quality of projects undertaken. Recently, a diver from West Bengal was injured at the newly inaugurated Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Complex during the National Federation Cup, a test event for the Games. Prior to this, a part of the roof covering the weightlifting auditorium at the newly remodeled Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium complex, collapsed, during its inauguration. Some stadiums also saw water logging after a day of rains in the capital. India seems to be under immense pressure to complete all pending works on time before the Commonwealth Games. The 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi is being touted as the biggest international sporting event to be hosted by India since the 1982 Delhi Asian Games. Its success is being seen as the first step for India to bid for bigger events, but still New Delhi is not ready for it.

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