British delegation briefed on CWG`10 preparation

Last Updated: Jul 28, 2010, 21:54 PM IST

New Delhi: A high level British delegation led by Jeremy Hunt, England`s Secretary of State for Sports, was briefed by the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee on India`s preparation for the quadrennial sporting extravaganza starting from October 3-14.

Besides Hunt, legendary British athlete Sebastian Coe and double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes also attended the meet, presided over by the OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi at its headquarters.

Coe, visually impressed with Delhi`s preparation for the Games, said it was nice to find the organisers so relaxed when the Games is just 64 days away.

"It is nice to see the Organising Committee so calm with just 64 days left while we are on our toes with two years to go for the London Olympics," said Coe, chief of the 2012 Olympic Games Organising Committee.

Kalmadi gave an audio-visual presentation during the meeting and also explained in details the preparation for the Games to the team, who are part of the delegation visiting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"We wish Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games every success. We are going back with a strong message and we will encourage the British athletes to come to the Games in Delhi," Hunt said.

"The 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games were a big stepping stone for us for the 2012 Olympics. We hope that the 2010 Games will be a similar step for you. It is a big gap that India has not hosted the Olympic Games. I hope it will also happen in India in future," he added.

Hunt also hoped that the multi-discipline event will leave behind a lasting legacy for the country.

"We`re heavily involved in the London 2012 Olympics and looking to leave a lasting sporting legacy. We hope that the 2010 Commonwealth Games also leaves something to inspire the younger generation in India," Hunt said.

Kalmadi, also President of Indian Olympic Association, reiterated his resolve to present a world class Games.

"We assure you all of a fantastic Games. We also promise you great opening and closing ceremonies. The Games will be a fantastic cultural extravaganza," Kalmadi said.

"Our infrastructure will be world class. The Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium is the best in the world. All the other stadia are also fantastic and we have a best Games Village ever," Kalmadi added.

Kalmadi also requested Hunt during the meeting to send their best athletes to the Delhi Games.

"I request you to send the top athletes to the event," he said.

"We understand that two or three of the top athletes may not come although that is still to be confirmed, but the numbers of those coming for the Games are phenomenal.”

"Australia will be sending a contingent of 700, while Britain and Canada will also be sending their largest contingents ever for the Commonwealth Games," Kalmadi added.

PTI