M A I N   N E W S

Games get off to spectacular start
Tribune News Service & PTI

(L-R) Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles, Devi Singh Shekhawat, President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the opening ceremony.
(L-R) Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles, Devi Singh Shekhawat, President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at the opening ceremony. — PTI

AR Rahman regales the audience.
AR Rahman regales the audience. — PTI

New Delhi, October 3
The XIX Commonwealth Games got off to a glittering start here today with over 60,000 spectators in the jam-packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium witnessing a stupendous show that was a fascinating mix of Indian culture and modernity. Another 3 billion watched the opening ceremony — that saw a scintillating performance by Mozart of Madras AR Rahman — live on their TV sets.

Against the backdrop of an early October sunset, the spanking new stadium was bathed in golden hues as the Rs 40-crore aerostat lifted into the skies and a bevy of puppets danced and over 800 drummers heralded the event.

A spectacular laser fireworks show lit up the evening sky and India took a giant leap, 28 years after it hosted the Asian Games.

Prince Charles, representing Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, and President Pratibha Patil declared the Games open. “I have much pleasure in declaring the 19th Commonwealth Games open”, the Prince said reading out a message from the Queen. This was followed by the address of President Patil, who said: “Let the Games begin.”

The ceremony, which kept the spectators enthralled for more than two hours, set the stage for 12 days of intense competition that will see over 7,000 athletes from 71 countries vying for honours.

Put together by some of the top Bollywood stars, great classical dancers and performers, the opening ceremony veered around the Great Indian Journey that showcased more than 3,000 artistes in a spectacle of music and dance.

The march past was headed by Australia and as other countries marched in alphabetic order, the hosts trooped in last. The 619-member strong Indian contingent, which had Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra as the flag-bearer, drew the loudest cheers. The Indian contingent provided a pretty picture, with the men wearing red ‘achkans’ and black trousers while the women were clad in maroon, gold-border saris.

After the march past, four Indian athletes took the Queen’s Baton in a relay run into the stadium. It was anchored by Olympic bronze medallist and world champion wrestler Sushil Kumar, who took into the Royal Box to hand over the Queen’s message in it to Prince Charles.

Olympic bronze medallist pugilist Vijender Singh took the baton inside the stadium before it was carried by world women's boxing champion Mary Kom, shooter Samresh Jung and Sushil Kumar.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, CWG Federation president Mike Fennell and a host of dignitaries were present at the ceremony.

n Edit: Let’s celebrate the Games




Action Arenas
Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex

The cycling track at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.
The cycling track at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.

A view of the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex.
A view of the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex. 

The legendary Jawaharlal Nehru Sports (JNS) Complex, named after the first Prime Minister of India, was the main venue for the IX Asian Games in 1982. Renovated for the Games 2010, the main venue for the mega-sporting event hosting, apart from Athletics, Lawn Bowls and Weightlifting, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The unique membrane roof will shelter 60,000 spectators.

Indira Gandhi Sports Complex

Indira Gandhi Sports Complex is located on the western bank of Yamuna River, in close proximity to the Delhi Secretariat (to its East) and the historical Ferozshah Kotla citadel (to its West). Built in the year 1982 to host the indoor sports events of the Asian Games, it is spread over an area of 102 acres. Te stadium, the largest indoor stadium in India, is being equipped with intricate audio and lighting systems, making it adequate for High Definition Television (HDTV) transmission.

SP Mukherjee Swimming Stadium

SP Mukherjee Aquatics Complex will host Diving and Swimming events for the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi. The upgraded and renovated complex has the latest state-of-the-art facilities so as to meet the international standards required to host world-class aquatic events. The stadium is the largest covered aquatic stadium in the country having Olympic sized swimming and diving pools and six lanes' warm up pool.

Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium

Built to host the first Asian Games in 1951, the stadium is often referred as "the temple of Indian Hockey". Named after the legendary hockey player and Olympian Major Dhyan Chand, the stadium has hosted major hockey events including IX Asian Games Hockey and Hero Honda FIH Hockey World Cup 2010. The Stadium boasts of two brand new synthetic hockey turfs and has a capacity of 20,000. The hockey pitches are equipped with floodlights and electronic and video-matrix scoreboard.

RK Khanna Tennis Complex

For the first time, Tennis has been introduced as a medal sports in the Commonwealth Games and R. K. Khanna Tennis Complex is the venue for Delhi 2010's Tennis competitions. The complex has been a tennis playing facility since 1970 and also hosted tennis events for 1982 Asian Games. It is situated in the lush environment of the Deer Park in the Safdarjung Enclave area of South Delhi.

DR Karni Singh shooting range

It is a shooting range in New Delhi.It was constructed for the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. It is also a venue for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and for that it underwent rebuilding and all the facilities were enhanced and now the venue boasts of the most enhanced facilities in the world. In October 2008 the structure of the range was fully demolished and was built under a project a plan costing Rs. 150 crore, it was completed in 13 months.

Yamuna Sports Complex

Yamuna Sports Complex is located in East Delhi and will host Delhi 2010's Table Tennis and Archery events. The foundation stone of this complex was laid by Late Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, formerPrime Minister of India, on 13 June 1989. The Archery stadium has semi-circular building with tensile fabric roofing.

Delhi University

Inaugurated on 15 July 2010, Delhi University Stadium will host Rugby Sevens. The state-of-the-art stadium, spread over an area of 10,000 metres, will also serve as the training venue for Netball, Boxing, Women's Wrestling and Athletics during the Games.

CRPF shooting range,

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Shooting Range, located in Kadarpur, will host the Full Bore Shooting competition. The venue has been upgraded and renovated with latest state-of-the-art technology including movable type electronic targets system which will be used for the first time for Full Bore shooting competition for 300 yards, 300 meters, 500 yards, 600 yards, 900 yards and 1000 yards during the Commonwealth Games.

Thyagaraj Sports Complex

Thyagaraj Sports Complex is built especially for Delhi 2010's Netball competition. It is India's first-ever model Green Venue built with the latest green building technologies. It has a capacity of approximately of ten thousand.

Siri Fort Sports Complex

Siri Fort Sports Complex is one of its kinds in India. It will host Badminton and Squash events of Delhi 2010. The sprawling acres are surrounded by lush green lawns and a mini-forest. Siri Fort Sports Complex was first inaugurated on 29 March 1989 to offer facilities of different sports to South Delhi residents. It is located near the historic Siri fort (now in ruins) built by Sultan Alauddin Khalji in 1303 A.D.

Talkatora Indoor Stadium

Upgraded Talkatora Indoor Stadium was inaugurated on 25 February 2010. The stadium is a unique piece of architecture with an elegant look. It will host Delhi 2010's Boxing events. The stadium has been connected to a tunnel which will be used by the athletes, it has multiple facilities which include acoustic ceiling of dome, scoreboard, video screens and sports lighting. A number of environment-friendly material and energy-efficient devices have been used in this block to make it a green building.





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