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'CWG will be off to a flying start once Rahman starts singing'

September 29, 2010 19:22 IST

There might have been delays and lapses in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, but External Affairs Minister S M Krishna says the troubled event will be "off to a flying start" once A R Rahman renders the welcome song on October 3.

Speaking at the Asia Society in New York, Krishna assured the world community that the Games would be a success and hoped that the athletes will be satisfied with the preparations.

"I can assure you that on October 3 when A R Rahman starts with his welcome orchestra, I think we will be off to a flying start," said Krishna.

The Games will be inaugurated on Sunday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Krishna, however, admitted that there have been lapses, and attributed some of the problems to the unusually long and heavy monsoon in north India this year.

"We did not anticipate that the monsoons will be so prolonged and so heavy and as a result of that the preparations got delayed but the news that is coming out of New Delhi in the last two days that things are improving," he said. "The athletes have started coming to New Delhi and they will be very pleased with the arrangements," he said.

Several comparisons have been made of India's failure to get its act together against China's spectacular conduct of the Olympics and South Africa's successful holding of the Football World Cup earlier this year.

Krishna, who is in New York to attend the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, said the criticism might have been glaring in the pre-Games period but ultimately what would matter is how the event was held and staged.

"This has been said about every international athletic event before it starts. Questions are always asked and doubts are always expressed. I am going to be back here again next year and then you can ask me how well we conducted the Games," he said.

Betwa Sharma New York
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