Monday, December 7, 2009

Deadline for Hockey Venue: 15 December 2009

It’s a lesson in how to put the best foot forward. With intense interest being generated in the test events scheduled to be held in January 2010, the government seems to be working overtime to ensure that at least the first event goes off without a hitch. In a step in this direction, the organizing committee (OC) chairperson, Suresh Kalmadi has promised Major Dhyan Chand (MDC) stadium will be ‘‘complete’’ by December 15, 2009, ensuring that the test event is held at the venue as scheduled. Interestingly however, the events scheduled for some of the other competition venues like Thyagraj, have been postponed meanwhile.

Said Kalmadi recently on a site visit to MDC stadium, ‘‘The stadium will be ready before time, by December 15 itself. It will be one of the best hockey stadium in the world.’’ Incidentally, the stadium, which has been renovated at a cost of Rs 201.11 crore, is not only a competition venue but also a training venue with additional hockey pitches available at the Shivaji Stadium and Yamuna Sports Complex for the sportspersons. The stadium, which was originally set to be ready in September this year, is the first stadium which will host the test events, a kind of mock-Games for the city government. The 4-nation tournament is scheduled to be held from Janaury 13.

In contrast, the Thyagraj Stadium, which is the competition venue for Netball and where the test event was scheduled to be held in March, has been handed over a different timetable. Sources said the stadium, which is the only ‘green’ stadium in the city, will be ready only in February, when it is expected to be handed over to the OC. ‘‘The construction is going to finish by December 31, though the athletics track — Thyagraj is the training venue for athletics — will be ready in February,’’ added an official. ‘‘The test event, supposed to be held in March, has been tentatively set for July,’’ added an OC official.

OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot played down the rescheduling, claiming there had been no fixed schedule. ‘‘For Thyagraj, we had marked an invitation competition, which was not a fixed event. The event marked now will be the test event for the stadium,’’ insisted Bhanot, adding the stadium was otherwise ‘‘almost ready’’. Asked if other test events had been re-scheduled as well, Bhanot said both the hockey, shooting — in February in Karni Singh and CRPF ranges — as well as archery — in Yamuna Sports Complex — would take place as planned.

A Look At Games Plan

Major Dhyan Chand Stadium (hockey) DATE OF COMPLETION: 13-17
Jan Yamuna Sports Complex (archery) DATE OF COMPLETION:
7-14 March Thyagaraj Stadium (Netball) DATE OF COMPLETION: June-July (re-scheduled)