With the Commonwealth Games less than two weeks away, a pair of Canadian archers added their names to the list of competitors who have pulled out of the event in New Delhi, India.
Dietmar Trillus and Kevin Tataryn became the first Canadian athletes to withdraw from the Games after a number health and safety concerns arouse over the last two days.
Initially the condition of the athlete’s village had come into question as there were numerous issues with the facilities.
“Toilets are plugged, workers had left human feces everywhere, doors and windows didn’t shut and electrical outlets needed to be finished,” said Thomas Jones, Commonwealth Games Canada’s chief executive officer, to QMI.
Adding to the concern was the most recent transgressions.
On Tuesday, a footbridge collapsed and injured at least 27 people, and then pieces from a false ceiling in the weightlifting venue came crashing down, although no one was hurt in the incident.
In light of the problems, two Canadian shooters, the women’s field hockey team and some mission staff members were told to delay their departure for the Indian capital.
Along with the dilapidated facilities, a fear of an outbreak of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus blamed for at least four deaths in Delhi this year, has been troubling for some athletes.
“I’ve got from several sources that the athlete’s village is far from finished and extremely unsanitary, [and] the food is iffy at best” said Trillus to CBCSports.ca. “But what really concerns me the absolute most is the diseases that are running very rampant right now due to the monsoons, as well as the terrorism threats, which are apparently a very, very real thing.
Considered one of the world`s top archers, Trillus, was slated to be a medal contender in the men’s compound bow.
“I wouldn’t let my children go there,” said Trillus. “What the heck am I doing getting on a plane to go there?”
The King City, Ont., native said his age also factored in his decision.
“I’m not a young man — I’m 52-years-old,” he said. “If I get sick from something like this, will I ever recover properly? We’re not talking about the common flu here.”
Not all of the Canada’s archers feel as strongly as Trillus.
According to Canadian archery team leader, Richard Towler, there has been word of possibly replacing the withdrawn competitors.
“We have many excellent compound archers in Canada and are presently working on sending alternates to compete in Delhi,” Towler wrote in an email to CBCSports.ca.
Despite the archers hasty removal from competition, most Canadian competitors and teams remain steadfast they will be competing at the Games.
“I’ve heard the Canadian building was further ahead in readiness than the others and that’s a good sign,” said Ali Lee, a member of the field hockey team, to edmontonjournal.com. “I believe it will be up and running soon.
“We’ve stayed in worse in South America. It’s all part of international sports.”