Team Scotland’s participation in the 2010 Commonwealth Games took another major step closer today (Sunday 26 October) as the first Scottish athletes arrived in Delhi.
Following concerns earlier in the week over the readiness of the Athletes’ Village, which led to a cancellation of the first Team Scotland flight on Thursday 23 September, Saturday saw the sports of Archery, Lawn Bowls, Shooting and Weightlifting finally set off for Delhi amid a scrum of media activity and goodwill messages. Emirates flight EK510 touched down today with Team Scotland arriving in Delhi in good spirits and looking forward to representing Scotland at the Games.
They were greeted by members of the General Management Team for Scotland, who have been in Delhi since 15 September preparing for the athletes’ arrival, as well as members of the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee.
The athletes were whisked through the accreditation process quickly and smoothly to find their luggage waiting for them and transport on hand to transfer them to their accommodation in the Village and after a short 40 minute, traffic-jam free journey, they had the chance to see for themselves the huge progress which had been made.
Team Scotland Chef de Mission Jon Doig was the first to welcome them to their new home for the next three weeks and said: “We are all delighted to be able to welcome the first of Team Scotland’s athletes to Delhi today. Our General Management Team have been working hard to ensure facilities are in a suitable condition for the athletes, and now that the Team has started to arrive it feels like our hard work is really paying off.”
Among the competitors to be greeted was Lawn Bowler Margaret Letham, Pairs gold medallist from Kuala Lumpur 1998: “The trip was fine, the flight with Emirates was very comfortable and everything went well.
“We haven’t seen the whole of the village yet. We were welcomed by our Management Team then went for lunch but the parts we’ve seen so far, accommodation, general gymnasium and catering facilities, have been a pleasant surprise and we are going to explore the rest of the village later today.
“The squad is glad to have finally arrived and we are now just going to concentrate on putting in some serious training and focussing on our competition.”
Shooter Ian Marsden, the flag bearer at the 2006 Melbourne Games and multiple Commonwealth, Games medallist echoed her sentiments.
“The accommodation is comfortable and spacious and security seems excellent so the whole Shooting Team is happy.
“We had a good flight and I think we have everything we need to be able to focus on competing for Scotland in the Games.”
Fellow shooter Jonathan Hammond added “The Village has been a pleasant surprise. We were concerned about it but the Management Team has really taken care of things and everything seems comfortable and welcoming.
“I think we have everything we need to be able to get down to some training and focus on our events.”
The next Team Scotland athletes to arrive will be from Gymnastics, Hockey and Tennis and will land in Delhi tomorrow (Monday 27 September).