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Bed collapses at Games village

Indian organisers faced more embarrassment as a boxer's bed collapsed when he sat on it after moving into his accommodation at the Commonwealth Games athletes' village.

Organisers insisted that progress was being made in getting the games in New Delhi ready for next week's start.

Concerns emerged last week after a pedestrian bridge leading to the main stadium collapsed, team officials reported the athletes' village was "unsafe and unfit for human habitation," and two tourists were shot and wounded outside one of New Delhi's top attractions.

The games were meant to be a coming-out party for India to cement its reputation as a growing regional power. Instead, the nation's image has been battered by negative publicity about its frantic last-minute efforts to get ready for an event it knew it was hosting seven years ago.

Talk emerged over the past week of postponing or cancelling the games. But those discussions dissipated after the government poured enormous resources into urgently addressing the problems before the opening ceremonies on October 3.

Akhil Kumar, who won gold for India in the 120-pound division at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, said he was disappointed with his accommodation. "When I sat down on my bed to take a rest, it collapsed," Mr Kumar was quoted as saying by the Times of India newspaper.

Indian officials said they were doing their best to get things ready. "All efforts are being made to hold a successful games," said Sheila Dikshit, an official overseeing the clean up of the games village.

The village opened on Thursday, after being described on Tuesday as filthy after excrement was found in some rooms.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell - on an emergency trip to address the problems - told reporters that significant work had been done in recent days.

"There's still a lot of work to be done, to do the final touches, and there's more work in the village. It's not over yet," he said.

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