WHILST the 2018 Commonwealth Games bid remains wide open, Sri Lanka’s Hambantota has beaten Australia’s Gold Coast in terms of transportation aspects.
Of the Gold Coast bid, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission said that the Australian city would “provide an attractive backdrop for the Games” and would commit to a “technically excellent games,” but highlighted concerns over the existing transport system.
On the other hand Hambantota’s bid was described as “the most compact Commonwealth Games concept designs ever developed,” but acknowledged that very few of the facilities were currently in place. Hambantota’s proposal outlines plans to ensure short travel times between venues for the Games with an integrated park hosting 90 percent of the competition venues and all of the non-competition venues.
Commenting on the report, Hambantota bid CEO and director Nalin Attygalle said: “We know there is still a great deal of hard work to be done in the final race to the finishing line but we welcome the finding that we meet every single technical requirement.”
“There is a seven-year period to get ready for the Games. I believe strongly that the whole experience hinges not on being event-ready now but on getting ready over seven years,” he added according to sportsfeatures.com.
Gold Coast’s bid chairman, Mark Stockwell said: “The overall summary augurs well for our Bid, however we appreciate that the Evaluation Commission has spent considerable time and energy analysing our proposal and there are elements we can refine.”
“Our Bid team had been thorough in its planning for the proposed 2018 Games in Gold Coast City and we’re pleased the Evaluation Commission identified throughout the report that we have met the specific requirements and a Games in the city represents a low risk – a very positive outcome for us.”
Premier Anna Bligh had said the feedback from the Commission was encouraging but also provided a clear view of the challenges the Gold Coast faces if their bid is successful.
The CGF General Assembly will be held in St. Kitts and Nevis on the 11 November where the host city for the 2018 Games will be announced.
The 144-page report is based on the proposals outlined in the bid books submitted in May by Australia’s Gold Coast and the Sri Lankan city of Hambantota, and follows the inspection by the CGF Evaluation Commission earlier this year.
The report has been sent to all of the CGF’s 71-member nations to inform them of the merits of each proposal, as the battle to host the Games enters the final stages. Following the report, the two-horse race to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games remains a close contest, with both cities now given the opportunity to address the concerns raised by the Commission, according to sportsfeatures.com