All-Africa Games hosts Mozambique still faces challenges before the start of the continental multi-sport event which will run from Saturday.
The country’s ambitious plans to host the games after Zambia pulled out, has seen the country rushing to add the finishing touches.
After receiving the nod to host the games, Zambia withdrew from hosting due to a lack of funds and Mozambique offered in April 2009 to take over the duties.
South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) chief executive Tubby Reddy said on Thursday he thought Mozambique had done well in their preparations given the short time they were given to organise the event.
“I think they have done well . They came on as a standby hosts after Zambia pulled out,” said Reddy.
“They have been going for about 18 months and put everything together in that period.
“When it comes to the village, stadium, swimming pool and all that, the quality is very good.”
He, however, said the hosts still faced some challenges with regards to transport and the athletes’ village.
“The problem they have with the village is that they haven’t managed to put in all the furniture and stuff that they require,” he said.
“They have the basic things like the beds and those kinds of things, but more importantly the actual testing of the use of the services like water, ablution and those kinds of things they already started having challenges.”
Reddy also said that the athletes’ village and the dining area were at separate locations which meant they had to be shuttled out and back again.
“The other reality is transport; each country has been given an allocation of vehicles but to get through the traffic is quite difficult,” said Reddy.
He said team managers would have to ensure they got the team to matches on time as teams could face disqualification if they were late.
“If they are late the officials will award the game to the opposition even if they may claim they were stuck in traffic and that excuse won’t be entertained,” he said.
He said it would be the responsibility of each confederation to deal with the challenges.
South Africa has sent a contingent of more than 200 athletes to participate in the games and have set their eyes on topping the medal table after they finished third at the previous continental games in Algiers, Algeria, in 2007.
South Africa won 180 medals in total, 61 of which were gold finishing behind winners, Egypt and Algeria. Reddy said the strict selection criteria Sascoc set the athletes should give South Africa a fighting chance of finishing in the first place.
“We have always done well at the All-Africa Games and we are expecting that the athletes will do well,” he said.
“The selection policy was that you have to be in the top three in Africa, so many of them are. We can’t really expect our athletes to have an excuse and they can’t blame the conditions.”