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Delhi ready to impress C'wealth Games officials

August 02, 2003 19:34 IST

Like a bride readying herself for the nuptials, Delhi is preparing to receive the Commonwealth Games Federation's Bid Evaluation Commission, which arrives in the city on Sunday.

The mood in the corridors of the Indian Olympic Association at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium is one of frenzy as officials gear up for the visit of the BEC which will assess the city's bid to host the 2010 Games from August 4 to 7.

"This is going to be only a seven-member team. It is not as if the Olympics itself has arrived. So there is no panic as such," said one official, trying to downplay the situation.

But, amidst all the buzz, one could sense a quiet confidence among everyone concerned. Mohammad Aslam Khan, IOA associate vice-president and a member of the Indian Commonwealth Games Bid Committee, gave words to the thought.

"I would say, as we enter the final phase of the bid deciding process, India has a 70-30 edge over Canada (Hamilton)," he said.

"As things stand, Delhi has all the infrastructure in place whereas they (Hamilton) have only the drawings. They have to create all the facilities anew," he added.

Khan, a former footballer, said the city also had the experience of hosting two Asiads.

Khan also pointed out that the infrastructure would be completely spruced up once the Games are awarded.

"The facilities here have lived their life and they will be totally redone well in time before 2010."

Khan also said the Federation's aim of spreading the Games beyond Europe is another factor that could tilt the scales in India's favour.

"For a long time the CWG has been rotated among the European countries and the members themselves feel that if the Commonwealth movement has to spread it has reach out to countries afar," he said.

On Monday morning, the BEC will be given a theme presentation by the various agencies involved. Moraad Ali Khan, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and National Games champion in double trap shooting, will present the theme on behalf of the sportsmen.

The Commission will also be presented a letter of support for the Games, signed by two lakh children and youth of the city.

After a whirlwind tour of all the venues on Tuesday, the Commission will visit Pragati Maidan, the planned venue for  the media centre, and the proposed site for Games Village at Noida.

The seven-member team will wind off their visit with a general survey of the city on Wednesday.

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