Complaints subside, more athletes check in

After weeks of scandals, star pullouts and criticism over the state of the Games Village, the hassled organisers heaved a sigh of relief as traditional powerhouses such as Australia, Canada and a second batch of English athletes checked in. There were also no individual pullouts from the event today.

However, there were some unsavoury developments on the sidelines of the Games' build-up with the Commonwealth Games Federation and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit locked in a verbal duel.

A day after CGF CEO Mike Hooper's criticism blaming authorities for the lack of preparations and reportedly blamed traffic snarls in Delhi on India's vast population, Dikshit hit back at him.

"It is really a very unkind and undiplomatic remark that has been made," Dikshit told reporters here.

However, Hooper received strong backing from CGF boss Mike Fennell, who insisted that the New Zealander neither blamed the Indian government nor made any disparaging comments about India, as was reported in the media.

"Far from any emotive commentary, Mr Hooper merely stated the fact that the responsibility for delivering and operating the Games lies with authorities in India, as per the Host City contract," Fennell said.

"What I have witnessed today is a vicious and totally unwarranted attack on Mike Hooper based on entirely false reports," Fennell added.

The athletes continued to arrive with England (61), Australia (59) and Canada (30), Scotland (77) along with South Africa (113) checked in at the Village and gave mixed feedback on the campus, which has been severely criticised for poor cleanliness in its residential towers.

While the Scots felt the facilities could have been better as Delhi got seven years to prepare after winning the bid, the Aussies, who were among the most apprehensive about coming to the Indian capital, gave a thumbs up to their living area.

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