England will send a full team to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, its Chef de Mission for the event Craig Hunter said after his recent visit to the Indian capital.
Also, Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) Chief Executive Perry Crosswhite has said his team was even more bullish on taking part in Delhi than it has been before.
According to a report on the Commonwealth Games England website, it will be bringing a team of 560 athletes, more than its squad for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in 2006, to compete across al the 17 sports.
"England will categorically be sending a team to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later this year." Hunter said. He dismissed earlier reports that security concerns would force England to fail to send a team to mega event for the first time.
"There's no doubt that there are lots of athletes who see Delhi as a vital developmental stepping stone towards the 2012 Olympics in London and they are very keen to be in the team." Hunter said.
"Let's wait and see who decides to go and who doesn't when the time comes. Having seen everycompetition site, we believe it will all be ready." he added.
"We have built up a great working relationship with the Indians, and there's no doubt that they will stage a unique Games."
Meanwhile, ACGA Chief Executive Peter Crosswhite has said English athletes will gladly go to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi because they are tougher and more determined to represent their country. He said Australia's athletes had been kept well informed about the measures being put in place to protect them. "No one has expressed to us that he or she is not going. Everybody has got to make their own mindup but I'd be disappointed if someone didn't go." he stated.
"The successful running of the FIH World Cup along with trouble-free test events in shooting and archery has bolstered confidence that the organisers have security under control. We are even more bullish on it than we have been before." he added.