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Adele Carlsen - Update from Delhi

Adele Carlsen, High Performance Manager for British Synchro, recently travelled to Delhi in India to take part in a Team England visit to the Commonwealth Ganes sites to view progress and hear how the competition will work. In her first blog, as part of a regular blogspot on swimming.org, Adele shares her experiences of the trip.

It’s easy for people to be dismissive of a country who has never hosted a large sporting event like this before especially with a culture so different to our own but there are many many positives. I went out to Delhi with the England Commonwealth Games Federation and it was clear that everyone has done a great job so far bearing in mind the challenges they have had to deal with. 

It doesn’t help preparations when some of the British media hype up the negatives which scares our athletes unnecessarily.

I had never been to India before and like many people I had my concerns but I feel reassured having been out there and viewed the venues, the presentations from the organising committee on transport, security, food and water hygiene and experiencing their culture and way of life.

Security is the main concern at any major event but the amount of security that will be in place for Delhi once the Games are on looks immense. Any incidents that happen prior to the Games in India, even though it may be thousands of miles away from Delhi and likely to have nothing to do with the Games, will be no doubt linked to the competition by the media. 

It doesn’t help preparations when some of the British media hype up the negatives which scares our athletes unnecessarily. But hopefully once the Games are on, and the medals start coming in, the media will focus on the sports and what will hopefully be a fantastic games in a great city.

I had heard a lot of rumours about the Aquatics Centre not being ready but I don’t think that will be the case having seen it. When I was there, I felt reassured that it will be ready and will look fantastic. Currently they are filling up the pools and putting the audience seats in.

There is still some work to be completed around the outside of the venue but the actual inside looks like it will be spectacular. Having been there the pool is definitely my favourite venue.  It looks so grand, like a stadium from the outside and with marble around the inside.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games looks like it will have the biggest number of synchronised swimming entries to date with new countries such as Sri Lanka and Singapore having entered which is exciting for the development of the sport.

The competition will be quite varied. We will have the likes of Canada, who medalled at last year’s World Championships and who have won every Synchro event in the Commonwealths since it was first introduced in 1986, taking on the newer countries to Synchro such as India and Sri Lanka. England will be hoping to push Canada in the medal zone with Scotland looking like it will have a strong medal contender in the solo event which will be the first time since the 2002 Games.

Now, I am excited about the competition and can’t wait for it to start.

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