Thursday, January 21, 2010

UK is expected to send team of 1500 athletes and officials

Scotland Yard is likely to be involved in securing the Delhi Commonwealth Games to protect the British contingent. Nearly, 1,500 competitors and officials from the UK will participate in the Games, making it by far the largest presence from any country, said Ann Hogbin, chief executive of England Commonwealth Games Association (ECGA).

There will be 387 English athletes for the Games, Hogbin said, dismissing talk of the contingent opting out. ‘‘There is no uncertainty about England taking part and we are looking forward to doing so.’’

Last month, a section of the British press speculated that England may pull out on security concerns. Apart from Scotland Yard, ECGA has obtained advice from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Jon Doig, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland (CGCS), said security at the Delhi Games was an important issue and that CGCS had been receiving guidance from a range of people, including Scotland Yard. But he stressed his side’s preparations were on track and 200 Scottish sportspersons would be competing at the event. Chris Jenkins, chef de mission of a 170-member Wales squad, said: ‘‘We have raised security with the Met Police, Delhi Police and the CGFs consultants and have been reassured. It will be safe and spectacular Games.’’

Northern Ireland will be the fourth British contingent at Delhi. Beginning next month and up to May, British athletes will feature at test events at the various venues.