Commonwealth Games 2014: Opening ceremony - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/ Suyash Srivastava
New Delhi: The 20th Commonwealth Games kicked off to a spectacular opening ceremony in front of 40,000 people at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
71 nations, who will compete across 17 sports over the next 11 days, witnessed an electrifying atmosphere when Glasgow put together a good show on Wednesday night.
While world-renowned Scottish singers Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle performed live at the ceremony, at the same time six-time Olympic champion Chris Hoy also made an appearance at the home of Celtic Football Club.
OPENING CEREMONY: As it happened
* More fireworks followed and that was the end of a fantastic opening ceremony. The athletes should now be prepared for intense competition over the next ten days.
* Finally, the queen delivered her speech and concluded by saying, "I now declare the Commonwealth Games open."
* The baton has finally arrived. It was brought in on the last leg by a young girl from Jamaica and then passed around volunteers, before eventually making its way to Sir Chris Hoy, via his great-uncle, and he delivered it to the Queen. But in what would have been a very embarrassing moment, Prince Imran couldn't open the baton. Chris Hoy offered help post which it finally worked out!
* After Alex Salmond, Gordon Matheson - the leader of Glasgow City Council made another speech.
* Alex Salmond – first minister of Scotland gave a short speech. He appealed everybody present at the Celtic Park to observe a moment's silence for the victims of the Malaysian airlines plane crash. Concluding his speech, he said, "The Commonwealth Games belong to us all. Welcome to Scotland."
* Three Scottish athletes took an oath on behalf of all the athletes participating at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
* The fireworks once again adorned the sky.
* Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti played 'The bonnie bonnie banks' as Ian Thorpe came to the stage with Chantal Petitclerc, Kip Keino, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Graeme Randall. They all were holding the Ceremonial flag of the Commonwealth Games federation.
* Sir Chris Hoy and James McAvoy came on stage. They both made an appeal to make donations for the UNICEF's Children of the Commonwealth Fund. The appeal was followed by a song from a group of children.
* The fireworks adorned the sky for a few seconds and Rod Stewart is back on stage. He is singing "Can't Stop Me Now."
* That was some sort of reception for all the 71 nations.
* SCOTLAND ARE HERE! They all have a very attractive uniform and are looking absolutely fantastic! The crowd has gone berserk and they should! The entire Celtic Park is on its feet as the Scots go round the stadium.
* Wales walk in next with 229 athletes. They have won 233 medals so far. They stay their for quite some time.
* Northern Ireland. They too have a big contingent.
* Malta enter to another huge roar. They have won 4 medals at CWG.
* Jersey enter next. In 1958, they made their first appearance at the Commonwealth Games.
*Isle of Man have a contingent of 15 athletes. They have made 15 appearances at the CWG. They are all wearing lovely hats.
* Guernsey are the next CWG nation. Shooting is a sport they are strong in.
* Gibraltar are scheduled next. They have never won a medal at CWG but have been regular in their appearances.
* England are next. They have 421 athletes. They have won 1, 836 medals for England at CWG! The crowd is almost on their feet and this is some sort of a welcome! The applause is almost deafening!
* Time for the European nations. Cyprus are the first from the lot. The crowd is getting involved while welcoming them.
* Colin Jackson appeals on behalf of UNICEF.
* St. Helena is there with Simon Henry being their flag bearer.
* Guyana are scheduled next. They had to wait for a gold medal for 44 years.
* Falkland Islands are next with 23 athletes.
* Canadians have a contingent of 165 athletes and they were welcomed next. They seem to be enjoying the moment.
* Bermuda have won total 5 medals in CWG and they are next.
* Belize are the next in line.
* Another appeal on behalf of UNICEF.
* Turks & Caicos Islands. They have appeared six times at CWG but are hunting for their first medal. Few of their athletes entertained the crowd with some fine moves.
* Trinidad & Tobago are next in line. They seem to be loving the crowd.
* St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They have won just one medal.
* St. Lucia are at Glasgow with 32 athletes. They have just one medal, a bronze in CWG history.
* St. Kitts & Nevis are next. They have won just next one medal.
* Montserrat are next. They too are searching for their first medal at CWG.
* Jamaica are here! 112 medals they have won, 96 in athletics! They have a pretty strong contingent and for some reasons, we couldn't find Usain Bolt there!
* Grenada are next. They have won just one medal, in 400m.
* Dominica are next. They too, have never won a CWG medal.
* Cayman Islands are next with 26 athletes. They have won two medals - one gold and one bronze.
* British Virgin Islands. They have 10 athletes this year. They have never won a medal at CWG and they for sure would try their best to win one this year.
* Barbados are scheduled next. They have won just two gold medals and they would want to add more to the list this year.
* Bahamas received a huge applause from the crowd. They have won 31 medals, all of them in athletics and boxing.
* Caribbean and Antigua and Barbuda were next in line next.
* Reggie Yates, another UNICEF Ambassador, is there with another noble appeal.
* Zambia are next with 44 athletes. They too are strong in boxing and have won 28 medals in the ring!
* 61 athletes have come from Uganda. Boxing remains to be their strong point and they would want to win more medals this year, not just in boxing, but other sports as well!
* Tanzania are the next nation. They made their debut in 1962 games. They will want to add some medals to their kitty this year as they haven't won many.
* Swaziland are the next CWG nation.
* South African enter to another huge applause from the crowd. They have a big contingent which will be hungry for medals at the Glasgow games!
* Sierra Leone are the next CWG nation. They have 23 athletes this year. They have never won a CWG medal. Glasgow Games could be a good chance!
* Seychelles are scheduled next. They too have a small contingent.
* Rwanda are the next CWG nation. They too have a very stylish dress tonight.
* Nigerians enter to a thunderous applaud. They have won most of the medals in athletics and boxing. They won 33 medals at Delhi Commonwealth Games.
* Namibia are scheduled next.
* Mozambique are the next ones. They have won 4 medals, all in women's 800 m race.
* Mauritius are the next country in line and they comprise of 60 athletes this year.
* Malawi are in the centre with their 30 athletes this year. They are strong in boxing.
* Lesotho are the next in line. They have a contingent of 27 athletes.
* Kenya are the next country. They have won 195 medals so far and one needs nerves of steel to beat them in running.
* Ghana are the next African country. They are very strong in Boxing and Athletics and they would want to continue their good show.
* Cameroon are the next CWG nation. Their contingent greet the crowd and are entertaining them with some moves as well!
* Botswana are making their 10th appearance in the CWG Games and they are welcomed by the crowd.
* Vanuatu are the next in line.
* Tuvalu hit the stage next. You can count their athletes on your fingers but they seem to be very confident.
* Tonga is the next Commonwealth nation. They have 16 athletes this year and they are possibly the first few to be dancing.
* Solomon Islands. They have made 8 Commonwealth Games appearances and would be keen to win some medals despite have a very small contingent.
* Next in we have Samoa.
*Papua New Guinea hit the centre stage. Their outfit is quite unique and they are carrying it in style as well!
*Norfolk Island are the next country.
* Niue are the next country. Their contingent is very cheerful.
* The Kiwis were the next country. They have a much bigger contingent compared to countries like Nauru and Kiribati and some potential medal winners too.
* Nauru were the next country to be welcomed.
* Kiribati, a country with 20 athletes this year, were the next to appear.
* Cook Island and Fiji were the next two countries.
* Australia, a country with an incredible record in the Commonwealth Games are welcomed by the crowd. They have over 400 athletes participating this year and that contingent comprises of some of the most legendary athletes.
* Keeley Hawes, a UNICEF ambassador appeared in another short visual which once again showcased the need to help the children in need.
* Sri Lanka were the next country.
* Singapore, a country with 70 athletes were the next to be welcomed by the crowd.
* Pakistani athletes were next and they received a massive cheer from the crowd.
* Maldives are the next country with a very small contingent.
* Malaysians are next in line. They were the hosts of 1998 Commonwealth Games.
* Bangladesh are the next country.
* And he introduces the batting maestro – SACHIN TENDULKAR! The Little Master makes an appeal on behalf of UNICEF in a short video.
* Ewan McGregor has popped up on the screen once again. He had earlier promised that something special was supposed to take place today. He once again speaks about children and UNICEF.
* THERE COMES INDIA – the hosts of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. 221 athletes have come to participate this year from India. Vijay Kumar carries the Indian flag, as other athletes march amid scores of Bollywood songs in the background.
* A lady has now come to welcome the countries, the first obviously is India!
* Hundreds of dancers have now taken the centrestage.
* There was another visual played where a mini jet was seen hovering over Scotland. Mark Beaumont – the renowned Scottish cyclist came out of the jet and was seen carrying the baton across the town.
* A couple came to the centre and displayed a beautiful dance.
* The queen arrived in a black car and she received a rapturous welcome from the Glasgow crowd. The queen shook hands with the dignitaries.
* There were nine jets which zoomed past the Celtic park
* The Scottish regiment is there, with their pipes and drums.
* Some of the dignitaries were introduced. And now, Susan Boyle is enthralling the crowd with her unique voice!
* Karen Dunbar, who is a comedian welcomed all the spectators once again and there was a visual played where Amy Macdonald played guitar and welcomed the spectators. Amy, then continued singing the same song on the stage. She was soon joined by Rod Stewart who finished the song.
* Barrowman and Karen Dunbar were surrounded by lot of dancers who welcomed all the spectators with 'Welcome to Scotland' song! The spectators loved the initial performance which was visible from their loud cheer!
* It was followed by some beautiful pictures from Scotland.
* Ewan McGregor popped up on the screen and he spoke about the noble cause from the UNICEF.
The Indian athletes can't wait for the ceremony to kick off.
— Dipika Pallikal (@DipikaPallikal) July 23, 2014
Hello and welcome to our Live coverage of Glasgow Commonwealth Games`s opening ceremony!
India, being the previous hosts, will lead the Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony parade around Celtic Park.
The grand ceremony will be graced by Commonwealth Head Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron and his cabinet colleagues, Scotland`s First Minister Alex Salmond and his colleagues in the government and other dignitaries from Commonwealth nations.
The parade will be the highlight of the ceremony, which is likely to last for more than two hours.
More than 4,500 sports persons from 71 Commonwealth nations will participate in the parade for the Games that will showcase 17 disciplines over 11 days of competition.
The Queen Elizabeth II will read out the message written on the Queens Baton which has travelled to 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth in a relay for 248 days before declaring the Games open.
The spectators will also get to see a performance from Scottish singing legend and Grammy Award winner Rod Stewart.
Among other highlights, Scottish singer Susan Boyle, who shot to fame in the ITV talent show Britain`s Got Talent in 2009, will also perform.
The opening ceremony will also be available live on Youtube, for the first time in any CWG.
The reports also said the Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar will play a `special` part during the opening ceremony. But how Tendulkar will be part of the ceremony is not known as the organisers are tightlipped about the details.
The Opening Ceremony will also feature a near 100 metre wide and 11m high LED screen erected in front of the South Stand at Celtic Park to broadcast images of the night.