Incheon: The Incheon Asian Games were not a “failure” and organisers did their best on a limited budget, a spokesman for the event said following a number of complaints.

Poisonous lunchboxes, empty seats and transport problems caused organisers headaches but press relations chief Park Dal-Hwa said there were no major incidents.

“We didn’t have any big accidents or big casualties and I don’t think the quality of these Games was very low,” Park said, ahead of the 15-day event’s closure. “We didn’t have a huge deficit arising from these Games. There were some problems arising from these Games but I wouldn’t say the Incheon Asian Games was a failure.

“Personally I don’t think that it was a failure as an international sporting event.”

The 45 nation Games cost about USD 2 billion to organise. The organisers have for months vaunted their low cost blueprint for the huge event involving 9,500 athletes. But among incidents that drew attention, dozens of lunchboxes were thrown out after the detection of salmonella. There were also complaints about transport and even journalists sat in a road to block a bus in frustration.

“We had some systematic problems at the beginning and our response was rather belated, so I believe that reporters had some inconveniences and issues and I would like to give my personal apology for that,” said Park. —AFP

 We didn’t have any big accidents or big casualties and I don’t think the quality of these Games was very low – Park Dal-Hwa,Press Relations chief

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