Thursday, June 24, 2010

Delhi ready for Commonwealth Games: Kalmadi

With the Commonwealth Games 100 days away, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi is confident that Delhi is ready for the October 3-14 Games and the most successful one at that.

"India is ready for the Commonwealth Games in every way, whether it is infrastructure or organisationaly," Kalmadi said Thursday on the eve of the Queen's Baton Relay ceremony Friday at Attari, 30 km from here on the India-Pakistan border.

"There are 34 functionaries working to make the Games successful including the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games," Kalmadi said.

Kalmadi said India will host one of the best Games ever.

"So far, it was only Australia and England when it came to the hosting of the Commonwealth Games. And it is the first time that a developing country has got a chance to host the Games. We are going to show that we can successfully host such a big event," he said.

"It is a great occasion for us for the baton to come to India after traveling 170,000 km. With only 100 days left for the start of the Games, the baton will travel 20,000 km in India."

A colourful function will be organised to welcome the baton at Attari at which the Pakistan Olympic Association chief Syed Arif Hassan will hand over the baton to Kalmadi.

Pakistani Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, Indian Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, Congress leader Sachin Pilot, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) chairman Michael Fennell and CGF Chief Executive Officer Mike Hooper will attend the ceremony.

The baton, with a message from Britain's Queen Elizabeth
inscribed on it, will be handed over to Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh and four-time women's World boxing champion Mary Kom to start the Indian leg of the relay.

Thereafter, the Punjab leg would begin when Badal hands over the baton, which will be borne by 250 sportspersons of the state in the next three days.

The baton, covering most states and union territories, will reach New Delhi Sep 30.

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