Despite the controversy surrounding construction, award of contracts and other issues, the Indian Government is confident that the Commonwealth Games 2010 (called ‘Delhi 2010’) will be a successful event.
Secretary-General Dr Lalit K. Bhanot said about 7000 athletes and team officials from 71 nations and territories will participate in the Games beginning in the Indian capital on October 3.
These figures are higher compared to 5800 athletes and officials who participated in the previous Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne in 2006.
“This number is likely to go up as the Commonwealth Games Federation has a policy of accepting late entries and there are many requests.
“Delhi 2010 is set to become the largest ever Commonwealth Games and we are confident that it will be conducted smoothly,” he said.
According to Dr Bhanot, several World, Olympic, Commonwealth Games and Continental champions were among the participants in Delhi 2010.
“We are sure that the paying spectators and the TV audiences across the world will enjoy watching these athletes perform in the world class facilities created in Delhi.
“We are confident that the athletes in 17 disciplines and four Para Sport events (150 athletes) will enjoy the facilities here and deliver good performances. They will also enjoy living in the Games Village, built to accommodate 7200 persons, and find that it the best they have experienced in multi-discipline events,” he said.
Dr Bhanot said India will field the largest contingent of more than 600 athletes and team officials while Botswana will be the smallest with less than five athletes and officials.
Despite security concerns in the recent past, officials said that many nations were sending large contingents to a Commonwealth Games outside their home nations.
These include Australia (550), England (525), Canada (400), New Zealand (325), Malaysia (325), Scotland (300) and Wales (240).
With a 220-strong contingent, South Africa will be the biggest team from Africa.
India’s neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka will send contingents of around 125 each. Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales will keep their record as the only nations to participate in all editions of the Commonwealth Games when they compete in Delhi 2010.
Dr Bhanot said that the exact number of athletes will be known only when the Delegation Registration Meetings (DRM) are held between September 16 and October 2.
“Until this process is complete, the Organising Committee is not allowed by the Commonwealth Games Federation to reveal the names of the athletes,” he said.
Meanwhile, a group of enthusiasts in Auckland have planned a send-off to the New Zealand team on September 18 at 10 am at the Venue Millennium Sports Institute, located at 17 Antares Place, Mairangi Bay.