Commonwealth Games

SA touch down for Games

2010-09-27 20:11
Commonwealth Games (logo)

Johannesburg - Team South Africa arrived in New Delhi on Monday for the Commonwealth Games, said South Africa's High Commissioner to India, Harris Majeke.

"We have been fortunate to have a clean bill of health. As a result we were informed by the chef de mission that all our athletes will be participating in the Commonwealth Games," he said in a statement.

"The first group arrived this morning and have been escorted to the hotel which the organisers have temporarily prepared for them until they move the Commonwealth Games village.

"The rest of the Team SA will arrive this (Monday) afternoon."

Over the weekend, a snake was found in a South African athlete's room in the village. This followed widespread complaints earlier in the week of dirty and unhygienic facilities, and the collapse of a pedestrian bridge leading to the main stadium.

At the time, Majeke said South Africa's athletes would check into hotels if their rooms were not ready when they arrived in India

"We have very grave concerns," he said. "If snakes are found we can’t ask our teams to stay there."

However, he did not reiterate these concerns on Monday. Agence France-Presse reported that athletes from Australia and England had moved into the village, despite warnings that work was still unfinished, just days before the games begin.

Majeke said on Monday that South Africa remained "optimistic" that India would deliver a memorable Commonwealth Games.

"For South Africa, the Commonwealth Games symbolise the levelling and unifying power of sport," he said.

"As a country that has just hosted the Fifa World Cup we wish India - South Africa's friend for all seasons - success as hosts of this multisport Commonwealth showpiece."

He said South Africa was looking forward to the Games and was confident Team SA would represent the country with aplomb.

Majeke said that, according to the chef de mission, SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president Gideon Sam had instructed the team to compete fairly and befriend athletes from other countries.

"He further stressed that TeamSA should boldly dominate and monopolise medals.

"The implication is that (in) these Commonwealth Games, South Africa will have the highest medal count. That said, South Africa wishes the other participating teams all the best."

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