Friday, 2 October 2009

Australia preparing large contingent for 2010 Games

Australia plans to send its largest team to an offshore Commonwealth Games next year with 425 athletes designated for New Delhi, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association said on Friday.

With October 3 marking one year to the start of the New Delhi Games, ACGA chief executive Perry Crosswhite said Australia was looking to once again improve on its medal tally.

Since the 1990 Auckland Games, where Australia claimed 52 gold in a total of 162 medals, Australia has improved its overall medal tally at every one of the past five Games, while retaining the top spot.

"The aim of the 2010 Australian team will be to better our performance at the last 2006 Games in Melbourne and win at least 221 medals. However this will be a significant challenge," Crosswhite said.

Australia's best performance at a Commonwealth Games was in Melbourne where 84 gold medals were secured.

"In Delhi there will be no home advantage, the programme now includes wrestling and archery, two sports which Australia hasn?t been traditionally strong in, whilst basketball and triathlon have been dropped," he said.

"As well as the old foes England, challenges to our 2010 medal tally are expected from Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia and India, who are very committed to showing success at home."

Crosswhite said it will cost 13 million dollars (12 million US) to send the large Australian contingent to prepare and participate in New Delhi.

"This works out to around 20,000 dollars per team member spread over the four years leading up to, and including the Games time," he said.

Crosswhite said up to 175 officials will accompany the Australian team to India.


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