Kiwi athletes hope rules will be relaxed at games

Last updated 05:00 02/10/2010

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New Zealand's athletes are hopeful strict team security rules will be relaxed so they can visit the Taj Mahal in the coming days.

The team remains on "orange alert" – the second highest on the security chart the team has devised to prepare the team for any imminent danger.

However, Kiwi gymnast Briana Mitchell said the team was optimistic the status situation would be downgraded by one level.

"If the security code colour changes, we can then go to the Taj Mahal," she said.

"We're all happy with the current situation. There's plenty to do in the athletes' village.

Boxer Nathon McEwen said he was comfortable in the village. "We came up earlier this year and had a look around and we have our Games faces on now in terms of sleeping and eating well and training."

Hockey player Sam Harrison agreed with McEwen. "There's plenty to do, like get your nails done," she said. "I have not experienced any cabin fever yet."

Meanwhile, a third New Zealand athlete has pulled out of the Games although tennis player Marcus Daniell is blaming injury rather than fears for his safety.

Daniell succumbed to a back injury that has dogged him through the second half of this year, leaving doubles partner Rubin Statham to play singles only at the Games.

He joins fellow tennis player Ellen Barry and cyclist Greg Henderson in withdrawing from the Games, although the decision for the latter pair was related to security and health concerns.

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- The Dominion Post

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