Ahletes set to arrive as things look up for Delhi

NEW DELHI, September 23, 2010 (AFP) – New Delhi’s beleaguered Commonwealth Games was set to welcome its first athletes Friday after receiving a much-needed boost when Team England said they would definitely be participating.

The announcement came after the Commonwealth Games Federation signalled Delhi was succeeding in fixing the problems that have brought the event to the brink of disaster.

However, the news was not all good, as high profile athletes continued to announce their withdrawals.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a crisis meeting with senior ministers late on Thursday and Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit oversaw the deployment of hundreds of staff to clean the athletes’ village.

“There has been progress and there is more to do,” Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP, adding that there had been a “significant” influx of additional resources.

“We’re concentrating on fixing the problems. My attitude is that the Games are on. We are working at the highest levels of government,” he said.

A source in the CGF, which went public with complaints about the “filthy” and “seriously compromised” village on Tuesday, said that the mood was mo