Australian discus thrower bows out of Delhi Games


Australian discus thrower Dani Samuels has withdrawn from the Australian Commonwealth Games team, citing concerns over health and security in Delhi.

Samuels, who claimed gold in the discus at last year’s world championships in Berlin, informed Australian team officials of her decision this afternoon.

Her coach, Denis Knowles, said Samuels’ withdrawal from the Commonwealth Games was “not an easy decision” and was due in part to Sunday’s shooting of two tourists in Delhi and the recent outbreak of dengue fever in the Indian capital.

Samuels has become the first athlete to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games on account of health and or security fears.

Her move comes on the same day that senior New Zealand officials raised the prospect of pulling their team out of the Commonwealth Games due to the poor state of the athletes’ village.

I would be worried about the food and food poisoning myself.

Or bridges collapsing…

You’re being a bit harsh there Niko: it only collapsed because someone stood on it! :rolleyes:

I heard About that bridge… damn dodgy builders possibly did the same quality work on the stadium. Imagine that falling on opening night.

From the photo on the news it looked like the main frame is still standing, it was the suspension bit that broke. Didn’t mention how badly hurt the 4 kids were who were playing on it.

THE Delhi Commonwealth Games were thrown into chaos last night after a footbridge near the main stadium collapsed and major teams threatened to pull out over the state of the athletes’ village.
Bridge collapse near Delhi stadium

(no votes yet)

Bridge collapse near Delhi stadium
A footbridge under construction near the main stadium for the Delhi Commonwealth Games has…
Views today: 2091

Doubts were also raised about India’s ability to protect athletes and spectators from terrorist attacks after an Australian TV crew exposed shocking security flaws.
Australian discus champion Dani Samuels last night became the first athlete to pull out over security fears. She said that no gold medal was “worth risking her life”.
Related Coverage
The Punch: Pull the pin now
Australia wants answers on Games
The Australian, 1 hour ago
Comm Games stars feel safe to go
Courier Mail, 2 hours ago
More athletes set to pull out of Games
Fox Sports, 4 hours ago
Aussies slammed for safety concerns
Herald Sun, 6 hours ago
More athletes may abandon Games
Courier Mail, 7 hours ago

World triple jump champion Phillips Idowu is also considering pulling out and said early this morning that he had serious concerns about preparations in India.
India won the right to host the event seven years ago and spent an estimated $3.16 billion preparing for the biggest multi-sports event in its history, a showpiece that it hopes will project it as a regional power to rival China.

But with less than two weeks to go until the opening ceremony, many facilities have yet to be completed - including the athletes’ village, which is due to open in just two days’ time.

The collapsed footbridge from the parking lot to the arena was among the building projects.

Police said that at least 27 people were injured in the collapse, four of them seriously.

The 100-metre overhead bridge was to connect a parking lot with the main stadium, which is to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the $3.17 billion Games.

Nitin Gokhale, security editor for Indian channel NDTV, told Sky News that most of the injured are thought to be construction workers, who were working ahead of the opening ceremony on 3 October.

He said the bridge could have been weakened by weeks of heavy rains in the area.

A spokesman for Delhi police said there was no need to panic over the incident. “There is no need to panic and the pictures on TV make it look much worse than it is,” he said.

But the accident has stoked fears that New Delhi is seriously underprepared to welcome the 7000 athletes and staff due in the next week for the Games.

The president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Fennell, said earlier yesterday that he had asked for the urgent intervention of the Indian government after severe delays in the completion of the village, where the thousands of participants are to be housed.

Team officials went further, with both England and Scotland issuing veiled threats to withdraw from the Games.

New Zealand, Canada and Ireland also objected strongly to the condition of accommodation given to them in the village, with the New Zealand team taking the unprecedented step of switching its accommodation because of the lodgings, described as “filthy,” “uninhabitable” and “not fit for humans” by participants and officials.

The Games organisers called a press conference to allay fears about the village’s state. They said the bridge collapse was “unfortunate” but insisted everything was under control.

With reference to cleanliness, the organisers said 60 to 70 percent of the residences were complete and everything else would be ready “in the next 36 hours”

“We are doing our best and we are sure and confident that we will be able to complete the entire cleaning of the residential wing,” they said.

Meanwhile, a crew from Australia’s Channel 7 filmed the backstreet trade in ammonium nitrate and a range of other powerful explosives from illegal stores in the Indian capital.

The crew also filmed a salesman in a parking lot illegally offering a “remote detonation kit” built into a rolling suitcase.

The Channel 7 reporter Mike Duffy subsequently wheeled the empty case past armed police guarding the Nehru stadium without once being challenged.

Security fears were already high in the capital after a gun attack outside the Indian capital’s main mosque injured two Taiwanese tourists at the weekend.

Both the US and Australia issued warnings to their citizens over the incident, which prompted Australian discus gold medal favourite Samuels to pull out of the Games altogether.
British athletes Christine Ohuruogu and Lisa Dobriskey also withdrew today, but because of injuries.

Delhi police said they increased patrols across the city, particularly in areas frequented by foreigners.

Read more:

I’ve got a couple of friends going there. Or should I tell them otherwise? OK, I’ll shut up now! :stuck_out_tongue: I am not from a country participating, but I like the Games and it’s a great shame!