13 Sep 2010

NZ officials to assess security ahead of Games

8:49 pm on 13 September 2010

Officials will leave for India on Tuesday to determine whether New Zealand athletes will be safe at the Commonwealth Games.

Some 194 athletes are due to compete at the Delhi Games beginning on 3 October.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee says security is a major concern, following terrorist threats in February against competitors and the bombing of an Indian Premier League cricket match in Bangalore which injured 17 people.

The NZOC says at present, a team will be heading to Delhi later in September but it wants assurances that dangers to players can be minimised during the 12-day event.

It also wants to check that the Games Village is up to standard, food preparations are up to scratch and is monitoring a particularly severe seasonal outbreak of dengue fever.

New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie will lead the five-person delegation to assess the situation. He will report back to the NZOC, which will make the final decision on whether the athletes will take part.

Mr Currie told Checkpoint athletes will not go if it is found competitors would not be safe.

The Government says it is up to athletes whether they travel to the Games.