Scotland all set to welcome Commonwealth Games athletes

Dalmarnock (Scotland): Preparations at the 20th Commonwealth Games` village in Dalmarnock in south east of Glasgow are 98 percent ready to welcome 6,500 athletes and officials in a few days, said the organisers Friday.

At the press briefing for the first Village tour by accredited media, Venue Press Manager Andrew McMenamin said that delegates will be given the warmest Scottish welcome at the Games` village with a home to home environment, reports Xinhua.

Situated in the heart of the Athletes` Village, the imposing 3-meter-high and 9-meter-long sculpture of the famous Loch Ness Monster was created as a centerpiece for the Village to greet athletes from 71 different nations and territories, who start arriving Sunday.

Juliet Thorne, resident services manager at the Village, told Xinhua that the Athletes` Village was created mainly by the efforts of regeneration of a previous housing and industrial land within two and a half years to three years, with a legacy of 700 new homes in a new community and 620 jobs to Glasgow, Scotland`s largest city.

Apart from the delegates` houses, most of other facilities are temporarily set up and will be removed after the Games, she noted.

The Athletes` Village is right on the doorstep of Celtic Park, the venue for the Opening Ceremony of the Games, and alongside the new Emirates Arena for the badminton competition and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome for track cycling competition.

It covers the same area as London 2012 Olympic Games` Village of approximately 35 hectares, but with 700 lower rise homes in a mixture of styles from detached to semi-detached, terraced and two seven-storey apartment blocks.

It also features a temporary 2,000-seat, 24-hour dining hall and gym, a medical facility, a retail zone and a recreational space.

With 12 days to go for the Games, cast members were practising for the opening ceremony of the Games and making rehearsals for the spectacle to be performed by around 2,000 participants in front of 40,000 people.

After touring about 190,000 km, the Queen`s Baton Relay arrives in Glasgow July 20 for the final four days of its momentous journey in the Host City.

The entire 288-day relay concludes at the Opening Ceremony in Glasgow July 23, when the baton is delivered back to Queen Elizabeth II, who will read her message of welcome to the athletes of the Commonwealth.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games lasts for 11 days of competition until Aug 3, with 71 Commonwealth Teams competing 261 events in 17 sports and diving to be held at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

Scotland previously hosted the 1970 and 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

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