Commonwealth views: Games in Delhi
Newspapers in Commonwealth countries have been reflecting on the crisis that has engulfed the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The games open on 3 October and teams have started to arrive, but the facilities are far from ready.
Daniel Lane in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that Australian hurdler Hayley Butler is hoping to keep alive her dream of a sporting comeback:
"The super mum of Australian athletics is trying to prove to the Commonwealth Games selectors her feet have healed from the stress fractures that threaten to derail her fairytale bid to run in Delhi... After a 2½-year break from sport because of injury and the birth of her now 19-month-old son Cooper, Butler not only returned to the track, but at 26 was fast enough to qualify for her first national team."
An editorial in the Vancouver Sun states that some Canadian athletes are still eager to compete in the games:
"'You know, I think through all my experiences, I've been in some pretty dicey situations,' [hurdler Angela] Whyte said. 'I've experienced quite a bit. I think I worry about the younger athletes mostly. I think the more experienced athletes, we've been through a lot, especially with track and field. We're not being treated like kings and queens when we compete in some of these meets over in Europe.'"
According to an editorial in the Jamaica Observer, the country is confident that India will put on a good show:
"Much of the concern being expressed in developed member countries of the Commonwealth, and even from within India itself, should come as no surprise to anyone. Even from this distance though, we feel certain that the Indian Government will do all in its power, using whatever resources are necessary, to make sure the games are an organisational success."
Chris Musumba from Kenya's Daily Nation says that even if some of the country's best athletes, including World marathon champion Luke Kibet and Commonwealth Games 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei, have withdrawn from the competition, other promising contenders remain:
"This leaves two youngsters - Cherono Koech, the world junior silver medallist and Winnie Chebet - to battle it out with South African Caster Semenya, the World champion. 'The two are upcoming and very strong. I believe they have the ability to beat anyone. However, they should not enter the race thinking of Semenya. They just need to focus on their own strengths,' said Jepkosgei."