Negotiations to amend no-fly zone

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:09 PM ET

DELHI, India -- Finally, some relief for Commonwealth Games organizers.

Indian security authorities have allowed broadcasters to shoot Sunday's road cycling race and Thursday's marathon and closing ceremony from the air.

A no-fly zone over much of Delhi threatened to scuttle the airborne images. It's customary for media access to restricted airspace to be resolved months before a major sporting event.

"It's inexperience of holding major events," Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell said at a Friday news conference. "If venues had been delivered earlier it would have been better. The absence of test events hampered preparations."

Delhi 2010 secretary general Lalit Bhanot said the Cabinet Secretary was involved in resolving helicopter access.

Pearson disqualified

Australian 100-metre runner Sally Pearson lost her gold medal Thursday because of a false start. She found out the race was contested before she was to receive the gold medal.

"There was a major communication blunder the by the athletics officials," Fennell said.

Pearson finished in 11.28 seconds, but Osayemi Oludamola of Nigeria was awarded gold. The Australia Commonwealth Games Association is appealing.

Bhanot claimed 900,000 tickets for the Games had been sold, generating 320 million rupees ($7.21 million). Tickets have been distributed to schools and non-government organizations in a bid to fill seats at largely empty venues.

The Hindustan Times, however, reported Friday that a junk dealer was found with 3,000 tickets ranging in price from 250 rupees to 1,000 rupees for Oct. 5-7 events. The tickets were marked complimentary.

The Times said there were fewer than 250 people at the Karni Singh Shooting Range, which holds 4,000.

Efforts are ongoing to salvage the wrecked scoreboard at the rugby sevens venue. The eight metre by five metre screen, which fell Wednesday, is being assessed by technicians. The 16-nation tournament, which includes Canada, runs Monday and Tuesday.


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