Commonwealth Games: Top Delhi flops

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From left: Mike Hooper, Mike Fennell and Suresh Kalmadi, AKA The Three Stooges. Photo / Getty Images.
From left: Mike Hooper, Mike Fennell and Suresh Kalmadi, AKA The Three Stooges. Photo / Getty Images.

The New Delhi Games have presented a series of unique challenges for the athletes, their support teams, the fans and the press. The Herald picks the highlights.

1: THE REGULAR PRESS BRIEFINGS FROM THE THREE STOOGES

When Commonwealth Games organising boss Suresh Kalmadi, Games Federation president Mike Fennell and chief executive Mike Hooper take to the stage it's invariably a hoot.

There are numerous examples of the unintended humour of the three stooges.

Such as Kalmadi referring to "Princess Diana" being at the opening ceremony. He meant Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles' second wife.

Or Fennell tapping the microphone, then saying "is this working? Is this working?" Cue one journalist: "It's the only thing that is."

2: LIFTING I

As Papua New Guinea weightlifter Hitolo Dogodo was hauling the bar up during her final lift in the 53kg category, the scoreboard screen behind her went blank.

Dogodo promptly dropped the bar. Cue urgent mini-gatherings of officials, much gesticulating before the announcement "there will be a short delay..."

3: ADVANCE AUSTRA...

When Australian Scott Sunderland won the kilo time trials he stood proudly for the playing of Advance Australia Fair. He was no doubt enjoying the too-well-known anthem washing over when it was suddenly chopped off before the end.

That was the event in which New Zealand's bronze medallist Eddie Dawkins was called up to the dais as "James Dawkins".

4: FALSE START, WRONG FINISH

When the athletes heard the gun in one of the 100m sprint heats at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, off they shot.

But it was judged a false start. Three of the runners pulled up, but the other five bolted the whole length of the race.

It was not until they reached the finishing line that they were signalled to return to the starting blocks.

The heat was rescheduled. This was on the track which required late repairs on the morning of the first athletic action after being damaged during the opening ceremony on Sunday night.

5: LIFTING II

Back to the weightlifting and luckless Marc Coret, of Mauritius.

Preparing to march on to the mat in the 56kg division, he was held up by an official. No one bothered to stop the clock counting down, so by the time he reached the bar he had 10 seconds to ready himself, bend and get the bar up. Predictably he failed, and his coach went bananas at the officials.

They relented, gave Coret another go, but by then the shattered lifter had no chance.

6: CYCLING'S FASTEST START

Over at the velodrome, chaos reigned as the advisory came that the Tuesday session had been brought forward 45 minutes. It transpired it had not; the initial information had been wrong 45 minutes the other way.

7: LIFTING III

The Pakistani lifter in the same event was in the squatting position about to lift when an official ran out calling "it's not your turn".

8: EAST MEETS WEST

The chaotic organisation around venues is a ripe source of snafus. Let's take one.

A couple of New Zealand journalists, having been sent in two different directions en route to the bowls venue inside the main athletic stadium complex, were trying to get their bearings.

They saw two officials standing side by side and asked for directions. One pointed east, the other pointed west.

- NZ Herald

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