RWANDA team moved into the Games village yesterday after spending five days in the Ashok hotel ahead of the start of the commonwealth Games due this Sunday.
The 22-man team will be residing in tower 25 in the games village and will be neighbours to Uganda, Cameroon and Ghana respectively.
On arrival to the Games village, team’s head coach Innocent Rwabuhihi said, “It is great that we have finally moved into the village. It has been frustrating getting where to train and athletes were not enjoying the food but since there are so many varieties of foods at the games village, it is going to be easy for athletes to serve themselves with good appetizing food,”
Rwanda has now joined several other countries that have since arrived in the village like Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, England Scotland, Wales and hosts India.
With four days to go, 850 athletes and officials have entered into the Games Village taking to 3,100 the population of the much maligned complex that is now winning high praise from almost everyone.
Workers are laboring and working overnight to have all facilities ready for the opening ceremony after India promised to have the athletes’ housing for the commonwealth Games cleaned up.
The Games aimed to improve India’s image as a rising power, but criticism of shoddy construction and dirty housing and security fears have instead raised questions about Asia’s third largest economy.
However, some of the nations that have not yet arrived will find it hard having their apartments cleaned because focus is being shifted to unfinished business within the hosting venues.
However, some of the teams in Delhi have praised their facilities as roomy and clean, but other delegations have encountered problems.
Pakistan rejected as unsatisfactory residential facilities warning organizers to make improvements or provide alternative accommodation.
“Our delegation, which is visiting Delhi as part of a pre-event assessment, found the residential facilities in the village unsatisfactory so we have given 24 hours to the organizers to bring an improvement or give us a hotel to put up our athletes,” Arif Hassan, President of the Pakistan Olympic Association said.
Hassan said the accommodation was not up to international standards but ruled out any boycott of the event.
About 20 athletes, including world champion sprinter Usain Bolt, have pulled out of the Games. South African world champion 800m runner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi became the latest high-profile athlete to pull out of the Games due to injury while compatriot Caster Semenya is also doubtful for the mega event hit hard by star withdrawals.
The lack of participation from some of the world’s top sports stars has taken some of the shine from an event India had hoped to use to display its growing global influence, rivalring China, which put on a spectacular 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
Meanwhile, Prince Charles will open the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this Sunday next week, playing down reports of a row over who would preside over the ceremony.
A statement from the Clarence House, Charles’s official London residence, said both Indian president Patil and Prince Charles would play a role but insisted that Charles would formally open the games as the official stand-in for his mother, the queen, who is the head of the Commonwealth.
The opening ceremony will involve dances, drums, music, yoga, textiles, the sights, sounds and colours of India, encapsulating 5,000 years of culture.