Organizers getting grief over miscues
Box lunches for fencing and shooting athletes on Sunday had to be thrown away because salmonella was found in some of them.
It was one of the latest embarrassments for the Incheon Asian Games Organizing Committee, which has come under increasing criticism for lax management.
The committee later said it provided bread and energy bars to the athletes, but that did little to stem the uproar.
The criticism intensified when it went viral yesterday that a parking lot designated for the handicapped at Munhak Park TaeHwan Pool was being used for the cars of VIPs.
“We are guiding visitors to the parking lot of another nearby stadium, but we are not currently providing parking spaces for the handicapped,” said an official of the organizing committee.
On Sunday at the men’s team quarterfinal badminton singles match between South Korea and Japan at Gyeyang Stadium, Kenichi Tago of Japan, who lost to Son Wan-ho, 3-2, complained about the strength of the air-conditioner.
“I began to feel the wind in the second set and I had never before experienced such changes,” Tago was quoted as saying in the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun yesterday. “But the opponent was calm, as if he expected the wind, and I felt the wind followed me whenever we switched the court.”
Japanese coach Keita Masuda also claimed that the powerful air-conditioning increased the speed of shots by the South Korean players. Indonesian athletes who played matches on Sunday reportedly complained about wind from the air-conditioners as well.
The stadium also suffered a blackout Saturday morning, delaying four Round of 16 matches for about five minutes.
Poor management on the part of the organizing committee hindered the Thai men’s baseball team’s batting practice on Saturday at Mokdong Baseball Stadium, southwestern Seoul. The team requested the lights to be turned on at 6 p.m., but the committee said the stadium manager had gone home.
As it turned out, a member of the staff had stayed at the stadium and the lights were finally turned on, giving the Thai team only 30 minutes to practice.
The 17th Asian Games will also be remembered as the first where the cauldron that symbolizes the Games went dark. The flame was extinguished once for 12 minutes after the opening ceremony on Friday due to a malfunction of the cauldron’s fire safety equipment.
BY Kim Bong-moon [firstname.lastname@example.org]