Thursday, May 6, 2010

Test event for CWG held in Chennai

Even as the CWG 2010 organizers are racing against time to meet deadlines to deliver all stadia for the Commonwealth Games in time, the test events for the Games, which were supposed to be the barometer for the preparedness of the marquee event, are leaving a lot to be desired.

The Siri Fort Complex, which hosted the Asian badminton championships last month, was to host for the Asian squash championship scheduled from April 21-May 5, but the event was eventually held in Chennai as the Siri Fort complex was not ‘completely ready’. With the purpose lost, the Squash Racquets Federation of India is now planning to have a test event after the venue is ready in June.

“The calendar of the events is decided earlier, so the dates cannot be changed. The venue was not fully ready, so we decided to hold the event in Chennai. It will be ready by June. We may hold a test event after that,” said Srivatsan Subramaniam, secretary general, Squash Racquets Federation of India (SRFI). National coach Cyrus Poncha revealed that the decision to shift the event to Chennai was taken sometime in January. “We were not sure about a few things. So we decided to change the venue in January. The stadium is virtually ready now. It will be complete very soon. We will definitely have something (test event) then,” he said.

Meanwhile, top Indian players sounded unperturbed and are focused on doing well in the coming events.

“It doesn’t really matter where we play. We as professionals have to play at different places but I hope that it is finished on time,” said Dipika Pallikal, ranked 38 in the world. India’s top-ranked squash player, Saurav Ghosal, who lost in the semifinals of the championships, sounded satisfied with his performance and hoped that a test event would happen before the CWG.

“I played really well except Monday. Though I am disappointed, I am not getting bogged down and am looking forward to playing better in the coming tournaments. I am not sure what these guys are working on but getting to play at the Siri Fort complex before the Games would certainly help,” Ghosal said.