Thursday, November 10, 2011

Comment: Poor preparations cast shadow over Games

INDONESIA may have hosted four editions of the Sea Games previously but the surprisingly lack of urgency for this edition has venues in Palembang looking a sorry sight with less than 78 hours before the Games begins.

Jakarta is not facing major problems as the capital city is used to organising major events but it is totally a new experience for Palembang and this is the reason why the Sea Games Organising Committee (Inasoc) should have put more emphasis on the host city's preparations.

The reason why Indonesia wanted to stage the opening ceremony tomorrow and closing ceremony on Nov 22 was to promote Palembang as a tourist destination but the reverse may happen with the negative reviews from athletes, officials and visitors who have started arriving for the the biennial Games.

Athletes are likely to face major difficulties as the competition arenas for roller sports, sports climbing, athletics and swimming at the Jakabaring Complex have not been completed, which will make it virtually impossible for athletes to test the facilities or have proper training sessions.
The main stadium, Gelora Sriwijaya, will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies while a mini stadium, which is no bigger than the Petaling Jaya Stadium, next to it will stage the track and field events.

The workers were still fixing the floodlights for the athletics stadium yesterday while the tarmac was just laid for the track events of the roller sports.

The arena is unsuitable for training as the final touches are still being put in while the placing of temporary seating hasn't been completed.

The roller skating arena is also not ready for training although four gold medals are at stake on Saturday, while sport climbing begins on the same day.

We are fortunate to have excellent facilities at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil and can be proud of our organisational skills when it comes to major events.

There were some teething problems when the National Sport Complex was built for the 1998 Commonwealth Games but initiatives were taken early which enabled Malaysia to stage several 'test' events three months before the start of the Commonwealth Games. Conditions at the Jakabaring Complex look hazardous and it will take a miracle for Inasoc to complete preparations before tomorrow's opening ceremony.

Read more: NST

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