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NZ happy with security arrangements for Delhi Games

March 21, 2010 16:40 IST

New Zealand chef-de-mission for 2010 Commonwealth Games Dave Currie on Sunday gave a thumbs-up to the security arrangements for the October 3-14 mega-event in Delhi.

Currie, who visited the CWG venues and Games village during the recent Chef-de-Mission seminar in Delhi, said he was happy after watching the arrangements in venues, including the February 28-March 13 Hockey World Cup.

"I went there pretty grumpy and somewhat cynical, thinking 'you guys are going to have to work hard to convince me' and, by and large, they did," Currie was quoted as saying by New Zealand Herald.

Currie was also happy after seeing the security blanket at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium - where the world Cup Hockey took place.

"The World Cup hockey security started a bit scratchily, but after a week it was impressive.

"For example, going to the stadium meant your first stop was about 800 metres away. Mean-looking commando-type dudes were always parading around. There was a higher level of visible security than I've seen anywhere," Currie said.

"And let's face it; the risk of not doing it is enormous when you consider the Cricket World Cup is there early next year," Currie added.

"It's not to say other devices mightn't go off in Delhi and around India because that happens quite often around soft targets. But I am more comforted that they're working hard on it. The level of security for the risk is appropriate now. However, in six months you don't know what might  happen," Currie said.

"Bags were checked thoroughly. Transport was manned by security and there were forces in front and behind. Police were also 'parting the Red Sea' at intersections. However, I can't imagine Delhi residents will find it that easy to get around when roads are closed," he added.

Meanwhile, Kiwi coach Shane McLeod and shooting team manager Laurie Gray were also of the opinion that security was under control in the city.

"Waiting in Perth, Australia, was actually the worst part of the trip because of the anticipation. However the security fulfilled expectations and I think the organisers would have learnt a lot because teams like Canada and England could be pretty demanding.

"There was a visible presence. When we left the hotel there wasn't too much screening but when we returned there were plenty of metal detectors. It was always a worry organisers wouldn't live up to their word but at this stage I'd have no hesitation going back," McLeod said.

Gray expressed satisfaction about the way they were treated in the city during the seminar.

"We have issues to deal with every time we travel around the world, due to the paperwork associated with firearms, but the five athletes we took (to the test event) were treated like royalty," Gray said.

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