Saturday, October 9, 2010

Women 100m Medal Ceremony Delayed: Fennell blames officials

CGF president Michael Fennell on Friday conceded that athletes were not treated well as the women’s 100m medal ceremony was delayed for hours on Thursday and blamed ‘‘a major communication blunder by athletics officials’’.

Australia’s Sally Pearson had completed her victory lap on Thursday and was set to collect her gold medal when she was told about her disqualification some three hours after crossing the line.

‘‘The athletes were waiting and didn’t know there was a protest. Treatment of the athletes is unsatisfactory and we are not happy with the way the protesting athletes were being handled. We have issued alerts that such incidents should not happen in future and such protests should be handled properly,’’ Fennell told media persons.

Fennell left fending off the blunders

Apart from admitting serious communication blunders following the controversial women’s 100m race, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chief Mike Fennell had other problems to fend off as it emerged that the scoreboard at the Rugby Sevens venue had collapsed. “We should not jump to conclusions without proper understanding of facts,” he said. “We are trying to know how it happened but it has been fixed.”

On the last-minute scramble to get permission for helicopters to cover cycling road race and marathon events, Fennell blamed it on “inexperience” of the organizers and said there was no Plan B if the request was turned down.

“Many cities have restricted areas, what is normally done is you get a waiver for the event. I’m pretty confident it should be obtained later in the day as everyone understands its importance.”