Tuesday, 31 August 2010

India announce Women Hockey team for Commonwealth Games

The Indian women's hockey team for the Commonwealth Games was announced on Monday. Surinder Kaur was named captain of the side.

"The team was selected after the trials conducted at Patiala in the presence of Hockey India selectors Balbir Singh and Sita Mehta besides government nominees Roopa Saini, Ajitpal Singh and Zafar Iqbal," Hockey India said in a statement.

Defenders: Binita Toppo, Subhadra Pradhan, Joydeep Kaur

Midfielders: Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Mukta Prava Barla, Deepika Thakur, Ritu Rani

Forwards: Surinder Kaur (captain), Saba Anjum, Rani Rampal, Jasjeet Kaur Handa, Thokcham Chanchan Devi, Poonam Rani

Goalkeepers: Dipika Murty, Etimarpu Rajani.

Monday, 30 August 2010

'Park & Ride' or 'Park & Walk' to CWG venues

Spectators can either walk or take a shuttle service to Commonwealth Games venues after parking their vehicles, with around 30 spots finalised as 'Park and Ride' and 'Park and Walk' facilities by Delhi Police. "Our personnel will be deployed at all the venues to guide the visitors. Park and Ride facilities will be made available at two to three kilometres from the main venue and Park and Walk facilities at less than a kilometre," Special Commissioner (Traffic) Ajay Chadha.

Buses will be run to ferry visitors to venues from the parking lots as well as metro stations. Entry and exit points have also been identified at each of the parking lots.

Personal vehicles will be issued parking labels before the event which will enable spectators to take their cars to the parking lots. No vehicle without the parking label will be allowed inside the parking lots.

As many as 1,485 cars, 275 vans and 2,474 buses will be pressed into service to ferry VIPs, officials, athletes, mediapersons, volunteers and spectators to and from the venues.

The transportation service has been graded into five tiers: 485 dedicated cars have been set apart for VIPs; 1,000 shared cars for 3,000 Games officials' family members; 349 air-conditioned buses for athletes; 125 AC buses for mediapersons and 100 for technical officials; and 1,900 buses to be operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for volunteers, spectators and the Games workforce.

An additional 275 vans will be deployed at the Games Village for the use of athletes.

The opening and closing ceremonies are expected to be attended by 72,000 people at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Seventy percent of the people are expected to come by the Metro but parking facilities for 10,000 vehicles have been created for the ceremonies.

Following is the list of 31 spots:

Park and Ride:

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
  • Lodhi Road
  • Central School Ground in Andrews Ganj (300 vehicles)
  • Safdarjung airport (2,500)
  • Bhairon Marg (650)
  • Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium Complex, IP Estate
  • Fly ash pond near power house project (500)
  • Feroz Shah Kotla (600)
  • Shanti Van (200)
Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium near India Gate
  • Lawns between Rafi Marg and Janpath (Both sides of Rajpath) (1,500)
  • Modern School, Barakhamba (500)
  • Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Aquatics Centre and Talkatora Indoor Stadium, Mother Teresa Crescent Road
  • NDMC Multi-storey parking (1,200)
  • Bhai Veer Singh Marg (300)

Thyagraj Sports Complex
  • Safdarjung Airport (2,500)

RK Khanna Sports Complex, Africa Avenue, Safdarjung Enclave
  • Hauz Khas Sports Complex to NCC ground on Choudhary Har Sukh Marg
  • Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, Surajkund Road, Tughlakabad Fort
  • Vacant plot near Vayu Sena Vikas flats on MB Road to Kant Enclave, Faridabad.

The facilitiy for Park and Ride at Delhi University Sports Complex, Yamuna sports Complex and Sirifort Sports Complex is still to be finalised.

Park and Walk

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
  • Deta School Ground, Max Mueller Marg (400)
  • Sister Nivedita Sarvodaya School Ground, Lodhi Colony (500)
  • Blind School Ground (220)
  • DPS Mathura Road Ground (400)

IGI Stadium Complex, IP Estate
  • Ash Pond near Rajghat (600)

Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium near India Gate
  • Behind Rajpath Lawns between C Hexagon and Mansingh Road (1,500)
  • Bhairav Rao Marg (200)
Dr SPM Aquatics Centre and Talkatora Indoor Stadium, Mother Teresa Crescent Road
  • Kali Bari Marg (150),
  • Udhyan Marg Central School
  • Mandir Marg
Delhi University
  • Vishwavidyalaya Marg

Thyagraj Sports Complex, Africa Avenue, Safdarjung Enclave
  • Vacant plot on Brig Hoshiarsingh Marg

Yamuna Sports Complex, Surajmal Vihar, East Delhi
  • Ground opposite Vivek Vihar Police Station (1,500)

Siri Forts Complex, August Kranti Marg, Khel Gaon
  • Central School, Sadiq Nagar (400)
  • Ground behind Central School, Sadiq Nagar (700)
  • Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Sadiq Nagar (400)

RK Khanna Sports Complex, Africa Avenue, Safdarjung Enclave
  • Hauz Khas sports complex (optional)

Dr Karni Singh shooting Range, Surajkund Road, Tughlakabad Fort
  • Parking along the Adilabad Fort, MB Road (2,000)

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Kenyan athletics squad for Commonwealth Games

Athletics Kenya has unveiled a team of 53 athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth Games after a low-key selection process at Nairobi's Nyayo National Stadium bereft of most star runners who were handed byes for the October 3 to 14 events in India.

The new World 800m record-holder, David Rudisha, Olympics champions Nancy Jebet Lagat, Brimin Kipruto and Asbel Kiprop; World champions, Ezekiel Kemboi and Vivian Cheruiyot, Linet Masai and Janeth Jepkosgei are among the athletes named.

Kemboi and Jepkosgei are returning to defend their men's steeplechase and women's 800m Commonwealth title respectively.

Big omissions from the squad include defending Commonwealth champion over 5,000men, Augustine Choge who was not given a wildcard and Olympics silver winner at the same event, Eliud Kipchoge, who could only muster a third finish in 13:25.27 at the Trials.

"As promised, we have named a strong team for the Commonwealth Games and it is our hope they will carry on the impressive performances our athletes have had in Poland, Canada, Nairobi and Singapore," AK boss, Isaiah Kiplagat, said after the trials.

Team list:
Anderson Mureta, Kipkemoi Soi (200m), Mark Mutai, Vincent Mumo (400m), Vincent Kiplagat Kosgei (400m hurdles), David Rudisha, Richard Kiplagat, Boaz Lalang (800m), Asbel Kiprop, Silas Kiplagat, James Magut (1500m), Edwin Soi, Vincent Yator, Mark Kiptoo (5000m), Titus Mbishei, Joseph Kiptoo Birech, Daniel Lemashon Salel (10,000m), Richard Mateelong, Ezekiel Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto (3,000m SC), Luke Kibet, Amos Matui, John Kilai Ekiru (marathon), David Rudisha, Mark Mutai, Vincent Mumo, Anderson Mureta (4X400m), David Kimutai, Josephat Sirma, Sylvanus Wekesa (20km walk), Julius Yego (Javelin), Tera Langat (long jump).

Maureen Jelagat, Florence Wasike (400m hurdles), Janeth Jeokosgei, Cherono Koech, Winnie Chebet (800m), Nancy Jebet Lagat, Irene Jelagat, Viola Kibiwott (1,500m), Vivian Cheruiyot, Syvia Kibet, Iness Chenonge (5000m), Linet Masai, Doris Chageiywo, Grace Momanyi (10,000m), Janeth Jepkosgei, Nancy Lagat, Maureen Jelagat, Florence Wasike (4X400m), Caroline Kilel, Irene Jerotich Kosgei, Rose Kerubo (marathon), Grace Wanjiru, Emily Ngii (walk), Priscilla Isaio (hammer ). Technical officials - David Letting, Peter Mathu, Nicholas Kilisio (coaches), Peter Nduhiu, Japheth Kariakim (physiotherapists), Peter Angwenyi (team manager), Tecla Sang, Esther Chebet (ast. team manager).

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Jiyo, Utho, Badho, Jeeto: Rahman beckons Commonwealth

Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto (Live, Rise, Ascend, Win) is music maestro A. R. Rahman’s call to the people and athletes of Delhi, India and the entire Commonwealth. The Oscar winning composer today launched XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi’s theme song in a glittering ceremony held in Gurgaon. Chief Minister of Haryana Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Delhi Mrs. Sheila Dikshit and Chairman of the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, MP, also graced the occasion.

The amphitheatre echoed with applauds as Rahman took centre-stage and sang the theme song. The song was full of energy, vibrancy of youth and spirit of athletes. It was Rahman’s call to rise and win and spectators followed suit. With appreciating whistles, swings, twists and taps, Rahman rocked.

Humble as ever, Rahman said, “It’s definitely an honour composing this theme song. I hope people like it and it becomes the spirit of whole Commonwealth Games”.

(Click here to subscribe to Commonwealth Games feed)

Watch Video here:

Mr. Kalmadi was happy with the response and he said this is going to be the turning point for Commonwealth Games.

“From now onwards you will hear this song day-in and day-out”, he said. He further thanked Mr. Rahman for his effort and said, “You’ve delivered a great commodity, which is going to be the pride of India”.

Delhi Chief Minister was confident that Delhi will achieve the best ever Games held anywhere in the world. “I join everybody else in the belief that these Games being held in India for the first time will be memorable”, she said.

She thanked Rahman for the song and said that there was no better person than him to compose this song. “We will swing with the tune and it is pretty”.

Haryana Chief Minister expressed his support to make Delhi 2010 successful and was confident that athletes from Haryana will win more medals for the country.

Earlier Sadhya Dance Group performed on maestro’s Oscar Award winning song Jai Ho followed by dilli mein dhamal by Zenith Group.

Actors and Dancers Mr. Husain Kuwajerwala, Ms. Gauhar Khan and Ms. Kashmira Irani gave an astounding dance performance on the theme of Gypsy Prince Zangoora. Choreographed by renowned dance director Mr. Shiamak Dawar, the performance started with Husain descending from the top clasped in an eagle’s clutches and that clicked its connection with the audience which rocked further with Gauhar’s and Kashmira’s sways.

Swagatham, Commonwealth Games anthem to be released today

The much awaited Commonwealth Games theme song composed by Oscar winner music composer AR Rahman would be released today i.e. 28th August, 2010. It has been composed as well as sung by AR Rahman.

(Watch video of Commonwealth Games theme song)

Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Commonwealth Games had finalized Swagatham as the theme song for the mega event on 16th August after which Rahman asked for 10 days to give final touches to the song and relase it for the public.

Erlier, CWG anthem ‘Dilli Meri Jaan' was released on 25th August 2010 by Delhi’s chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Dilli Meri Jaan is sung by Dr Palash Sen of Euphoria group and is also written by him and his sister Dahila Sen Oberoi.

(Watch video of Commonwealth Games theme song)

AR Rahman in the press conference held on 16th August promised the fans that Swagatham is a unique number would go beyond FIFA world cup 2010 official song Waka Waka by Shakira, which raised the expectations and anxiety among the fans for Swagatham.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Indian contingent of 495 athletes for Commonwealth Games

A huge contingent of 495 Indian athletes will compete for 829 medals at the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010, to be held from 3rd-14th October in New Delhi.

These sportspersons would be short-listed by the end of this month from 838 core probables, undergoing training at various SAI and Non-SAI centres.

Core Indian probables, including 353, women in 17+1 (Para-Sports) disciplines have been training under the scheme “Preparations of Indian Teams for CWG 2010″.

A total number of 176 camps have been conducted till date and 150+ foreign visits/exposures have also been organised since August 2008.

The government in June 2008 had approved, for the first-time ever in India, a scheme with an outlay of Rs 678 crore to prepare Indian sportspersons for the mega event.

Initially, 1140 sportspersons from 17 disciplines were selected as core probables, and imparted intensive training.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Gurgaon Shopping festival from 27-Sep

The Gurgaon Shopping Festival, starting from World Tourism Day that is September 27 to November 1, will be a blend of entertainment and festivity at its best. The first of its kind festival in the country will have fun activities for the kids too.

While stating this here today, an official spokesman said that amongst the sub events, the little toddlers will also have their share of fun and frolic. The Kids Carnival will be an 11-day carnival for kids to participate in various activities to bring out their creative talent.

He said that the Kids Carnival will have activities, stalls and festive celebrations to entertain the guests from Delhi-NCR. It will be an evening to remember with the joy of Navratras, Dussehra and the Commonwealth Games 2010. The event would start with a baby show and would have activities like Dance Mania, Skit, Singing, Kids Fashion Show, Drawing and a Talent Hunt. The daily winners would be awarded the prizes in an Award Ceremony to mark the end of a happy-go-lucky event for kids. The event will help provide elaborate branding opportunities for sponsors and stalls will give the guests a variety of shopping options. This will be for the sponsors, a lucrative platform for advertising.

The spokesman said that the importance of this festival to showcase Gurgaon as a millennium city and to entertain the people by various types of activities for entertainment. He assured the co-operation of the Haryana Government in maintaining tight security during the event. He said that Gurgaon would be expecting visitors from all over the world and would have enough entertainment options to look up to and encouraged the team of the organizers for various sub events to make this festival a success by their hard work and creative talent. He said “The festival will be organized with public-private-partnership and the organizing committee has prepared an action plan to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India to the visitors during the Commonwealth Games-2010.”

The Festival, first of its kind not only in Gurgaon, but also in the entire country, is set to promote Gurgaon as a tourist destination and the most talked about millennium city. Celebration would be in the air all around and this city would welcome its guests to days of enjoyment, he added.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

England announce final squad for Commonwealth Games swimming

England has named a full-strength squad for the swimming competition events, according to the official Commonwealth Games website. England had released a tentative list of swimmers for Commonwealth Games back in April.

Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington will stand alongside World champions Liam Tancock, Gemma Spofforth and Keri-Anne Payne when they represent England at the Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi as part of a 45-strong swimming squad that was finalised on Tuesday after last weekend’s final selection event.

The team, announced by Commonwealth Games England on Tuesday, will compete for Commonwealth honours against the likes of World No. 2 swimming nation Australia, the emerging might of Canada and a strong South African squad while rivalries with Scotland and Wales will be fierce.

Four years ago in Melbourne, England’s swimmers returned with 22 medals, finishing runner-up to Australia in the swimming medals table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with eight gold, 11 silver and four bronze medals.

Accompanying England’s more established athletes is a crop of young talents that emerged at the final qualification event in Sunderland last week – the ASA National Championships. For the likes of Ryan Bennett, Anne Bochmann and Emma Saunders, the Commonwealth Games will provide the athletes with their first major international event.

Commonwealth Games England announced the first wave of swimmers to be selected for Delhi back in April after the British Swimming Championships – the first round of qualification. Following the ASA Championships last week a further 15 swimmers have been added at the final opportunity.

England swimming team:
Men: Robert Bale, Adam Brown, Simon Burnett, Ross Davenport, Daniel Fogg, James Goddard, Thomas Parris, Roberto Pavoni, Michael Rock,
Joseph Roebuck, Liam Tancock, Grant Turner, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Richard Webb, Steven Beckerleg, Ryan Bennett, Richard Charlesworth, Daniel Coombs, Anthony James and Daniel Sliwinski.

Women: Rebecca Adlington, Achieng Ajula-Bushell, Ellen Gandy, Francesca Halsall, Jo Jackson, Sasha Matthews, Keri-Anne Payne, Elizabeth Simmonds, Amy Smith, Gemma Spofforth, Jess Sylvester, Stacey Tadd, Becki Turner, Aimee Willmott and Katherine Wyld, Anne Bochmann, Jessica Dickons, Kate Haywood, Kate Hutchinson, Stephanie Proud and Emma Saunders.

Para Sport swimmers: Simon Miller, Robert Welbourn and Stephanie Millward.

Army elite to be part of Commonwealth Games secuity team

Over 1,000 personnel from specialised units of the Army are likely to be roped in for specific security-related duties during the upcoming Commonwealth Games here.

Official sources said the Army personnel are scheduled to be deployed by September 15, a little more than a fortnight ahead of the start of the sporting extravaganza on October 3.

The personnel would provide technical assistance related to intra-force communication, maintenance of jammers, decrypting suspecting signals besides providing other logistic support, they said.

Sources said Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) teams of the Army will also be deployed during the Games.

They said a solution is understood to have been finalised between the Urban and Defence Ministries related to free stay of Army men in the national capital following which special arrangements has been made near Palam from September 15 to October 20 for them.

Earlier this month, the Urban Development Ministry has sought help from Defence Minister A K Antony to ensure that Army does not charge the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee for certain facilities provided by it during the mega event.

The sporting extravaganza is scheduled between October 3-14 here.

Sources said that Army personnel would liaison and help in maintaining security of different vital installations including top hotels and Games village, where foreign delegates and participants would be staying.

They said personnel have been earmarked for withdrawing them from various units and preparations are underway to send them here.

Over 70 countries are likely to participate in the sporting event. Delhi Police and central security agencies are striving hard to ensure fool-proof security for the event, which is being hosted by the country for the first time.

About 175 companies(17,500 personnel) of Central paramilitary forces, 3,000 commandos, 100 anti sabotage teams, 200 dogs and 15 bomb disposal squads will be put in security for the Games.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Commonwealth Games tickets will be hard to fake

Tickets to the Commonwealth Games that you buy from August 25 onwards will have all the hallmarks of the Indian rupee note. Specially designed to make counterfeits impossible, the tickets, like the rupee, have been printed on the same paper with a corresponding watermark and security thread that runs through it. To make copying tougher, the tickets have been printed at the same press in Nashik as the rupee bank notes, said organising committee (OC) sources.

According to OC officials, one of the problems that plagued the Beijing Olympics was the presence of fake tickets. In fact, thousands had been duped by a fake ticket website scam — a situation that OC officials said they did not want replicated in the CWG.

A senior OC official said: "Tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies are the most in demand, followed by events like hockey, athletics and gymnastics. The possibility that fake tickets will flood the market just before the Games was high. So, we wanted to ensure that the tickets sold by the OC were distinct, easily identifiable and impossible to copy."

Not surprisingly, printing of the tickets at the Nashik press was also delayed. As a result, sale of tickets was postponed to August 25 from August 1. Sources claimed that the ticket, in which the new symbol of the rupee was to be inducted, took time to be printed as the font was not yet available from the government.
However, the tickets are going on sale from August 25, with the OC throwing open retail outlets across the city. In the third phase, people will be able to buy tickets from the venues itself. Till now, tickets were available only on the OC website.

The rapid sale of tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies has contributed to 25% of the total sales so far, said OC officials. Among the sporting events, hockey is the front-runner, accounting for 14% of the tickets sold till date, followed by athletics at 11% and gymnastics at 10%. Swimming is at the fourth spot with a 8% share of the sales, said OC officials.

OC officials admitted that sale was slow, though the opening of retail outlets were expected to push up the figures. They, however, were confident of selling the entire stock of 17 lakh tickets ahead of the Games. At the retail outlets, direct purchases can be made and those holding vouchers can also procure actual tickets there.

India's archery squad for Commonwealth Games

India's twelve-member archery squad, six men and as many women, was announced on Monday for the Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi from October 3.

For Men's Recurve team, Tarundeep Roy, Jayanta Talukdar and Rahul Banerjee have been named by the Archery Association of India (AAI).

Ace archer Dola Banerjee, Bombaila Devi and Deepika Kumari are in the Women's Recurve squad.

For Compound section for Men's, C Sreedhar, Ch. Jignas and Ritul Chatterjee will represent the country.

Jhanu Hansda, Gagandeep Kaur and Bhaghabati Chanu will spearhead India's challenge in Compound women's competition.

AAI's secretary Paresh Nath Mukherjee also announced Indian squad for Asian Games, to be held in Beijing next year, where India will take part in Recurve Bow section.

Besides Tarundeep Roy, Jayanta Talukdar, and Rahul Banerjee, Mangal Singh Champia has been named for Men's team.

Similarly, Rimil Buruily has been inducted into Indian women's squad along with Dola Banerjee, Bombaila Devi and Deepika Kumari.

5 Tier transportation plan for Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) on Monday unveiled its plan for the transportation of its athletes, officials, their family members, mediapersons, VIPs and technical officials, which will total up to 15,000 people, excluding volunteers and spectators.

For that purpose, there will be a dedicated five-tier transport system, some of which will be operational September onwards.

T1 and T2 will be car services. While the first one will ferry top Games officials, T2 will be services that can be booked in advance by officials and their family members through a 24/7 call centre. The transportation services will be carried out jointly by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Tata Motors. The latter will be supplying a fleet of brand new 1,800 cars and SUVs, back-up services, 3,000 drivers and supporting staff which will be deployed at venues and depots.

“Transport is the backbone of the Games and we have to put in place a huge network comprising buses and cars,” OC secretary general Lalit Bhanot told the media at the Games headquarters.

Tata has signed an agreement with the OC and the total cost of the service would be Rs 34 crore. Of that, the OC will reimburse Rs 10 crore by way of drivers’ salary, fuel and management, while the rest would be raised through sponsorship.

The T3 and T4 categories would consist of fully air-conditioned buses from the DTC. Under T3, 349 buses will be used to ferry the athletes to and from the venues during the event, including the days of opening and closing ceremonies. Twenty-five routes have already been identified for the purpose. Forty buses have space for five wheelchairs each.

Mediapersons and technical teams will be using the T4 service. 125 AC buses will ply on 14 routes to take them to and from venues. “All CWG buses would be exempted from using speed governors during the Games. We approached the authorities concerned regarding this and they have agreed,” OC Special Director General G G Thomas, who was also present on the occasion, said.

There will be three depots, one at Vinay Marg, one near Akshardham Mandir and the third at Ravindra Rangshala, which is close to Talkatora Stadium. The Games Village will have three separate sets of lanes in which each lane will have cars going to a particular venue.

“We will have enough provisions to handle any untoward incident like car breakdowns. Besides, all drivers have been given instructions about what to do in case of any eventuality, including a terror attack,” Thomas added.

Other public transport systems, including DTC and special Metro services would come under the last category. All drivers will be given communication radio sets, while every car would be fitted with Global Positioning Systems by which their movement would be tracked.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Color code to indicate quality of air

Delhi will soon have color coded air quality meters. Green to indicate the air is safe to breathe. Red to warn when air quality is bad. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Tropical Management (IITM) in Pune are ready to launch the air quality measuring and forecasting system in New Delhi, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

This is beneficial to the common man who may not be familiar with technical terminology (like ppm /ppb /ppt or µg/mg 3 ).

The project, part of the System of Air Pollution Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), will be unveiled next week. It includes a technical report that scientifically evaluates air quality standards and defines air quality index. Scientists have used mathematical models and evaluated Indian air quality guidelines to design a national Air Quality Index (AIQ). The scale is designed to help one understand how air around affects health, says Dr Gufran Beig, Project Director of SAFAR.

It is a health protection alarm to help one protect health by limiting short-term exposure to air pollution by adjusting activity levels to low during increased air pollution.

It pays particular attention to people sensitive to air pollution and advices them on how to protect health.

The AQI reports current air quality based on a specific level of an individual air pollutant and communicates a number from 1 to 500 indicating quality. Higher the number, greater the health risk. When pollution is very high, the number will be above 300, explains a scientist.

England accounce athletics team for Commonwealth Games

Double European gold medallist Mo Farah along with defending champions Phillips Idowu, Lisa Dobriskey and Christine Ohuruogu highlight a 100-strong England athletics team for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Idowu and Farah, who recently broke the 28 year-old British 5000m record, are among 13 medallists from European Championships in Barcelona, who join a new medal campaign in the Indian capital just two months after helping to record the best ever medal tally of 19 medals for Britain, Athletics England said in a statement.

Marlon Devonish, Andy Turner, Chris Tomlinson and Goldie Sayers add more experience to the team having featured in eight previous Games among them, while Andy Baddeley, Chris Thompson and William Sharman present new medal opportunities.

Recently crowned European 110m hurdles champion Turner said, "I'm extremely happy about my Commonwealth Games selection, it's been a great season so far and I look to go to India and win another gold medal. The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne was a fantastic competition so I'm very excited to finish my season- hopefully on a high- in Delhi."

After losing their 2010 season to injury, Ohuruogu and British long jump record holder Greg Rutherford will return to international competition in Delhi.

"I'm delighted to welcome such a strong group of track and field athletes into the England team for Delhi and look forward to their performances there ? especially after such a stunning European Championships. I wish them every success in their final preparations for the Games and when they are in Delhi," said Craig Hunter, Chef de Mission for England.

"We are confident that we have assembled an accomplished athletics team which is well- balanced, extremely competitive and comprises an exciting blend of experience with the talent of youth," Commonwealth Games England Athletics Team Leader John Brierley added.

Talented youngsters named in the team for the 2010 campaign are 2009 European Junior 110m hurdles gold medallist Lawrence Clarke, recent World Junior triple jump silver medallist Laura Samuel and young middle distance talent Niall Brooks, the 2009 European Junior 800m silver medallist.

England won six gold, four silver and eight bronze medals at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, with Christine Ohuruogu (400m), Kelly Sotherton (heptathlon), Lisa Dobriskey (1500m), Phillips Idowu (triple jump), Dean Macey (decathlon) and Nick Nieland (javelin) bringing home titles.

English athletes have won 177 golds, 173 silvers and 157 bronzes to top the all-time medal table.

There are 46 athletics events taking place at the Delhi Games ? including track and field events, marathon, 20km walks and disability events.

England's Athletes for Commonwealth Games by event


100m: Mark Lewis-Francis
100m (T46): Ola Abidogun
200m: Leon Baptiste, Marlon Devonish, Jeffrey Lawal Balogun
400m: Richard Buck, Robert Tobin, Conrad Williams
800m: Niall Brooks, Andrew Osagie, Darren St Clair
1500m: Andy Baddeley, Tom Lancashire, Colin McCourt
5000m: Mo Farah, Chris Thompson
10000m: Mo Farah, Chris Thompson, Andrew Vernon Marathon: Andi Jones, Ben Moreau
3000m sc: Luke Gunn, Stuart Stokes 110mH: Lawrence Clarke, William Sharman, Andy Turner
400mH: David Hughes, Nathan Woodward, Richard Yates
20k Race Walk: Thomas Bosworth, Luke Finch, Alex Wright
High Jump: Martyn Bernard, Samson Oni, Tom Parsons
Long Jump: Greg Rutherford, Chris Tomlinson
Triple Jump: Larry Achike, Nathan Douglas, Phillips Idowu
Pole Vault: Luke Cutts, Max Eaves, Steve Lewis
Shot: Mark Edwards, Carl Myerscough, Scott Rider
Shot F32/34/52: Daniel West
Discus: Carl Myerscough, Chris Scott, Emeka Udechuku
Hammer: Mike Floyd, Matthew Lambley, Alex Smith
Decathlon: Martin Brockman, Ben Hazell, Kevin Sempers
4x100m: Leon Baptiste, Marlon Devonish Jeffery Lawal Balogun, Mark Lewis- Francis, Ryan Scott, Andy Turner
4x400m: Richard Buck, Graham Hedman, Darren St Clair, Rob Tobin, Conrad Williams


100m: Montell Douglas, Katherine Endacott, Laura Turner
100m T37: Katrina Hart, Bethany Woodward
200m: Abi Oyepitan, Joice Maduaka
400m: Victoria Barr, Christine Ohuruogu, Nadine Okyere
800m: Lisa Dobriskey, Emma Jackson, Marilyn Okoro
1500m: Helen Clitheroe, Lisa Dobriskey, Hannah England
10,000m: Charlotte Purdue, Hayley Yelling
Marathon: Helen Decker, Michelle Ross-Cope, Holly Rush
3000mSC: Tina Brown
100mH: Louise Hazel
400mH: Meghan Beesley
20k Race Walk: Johanna Jackson, Lisa Kehler
High Jump: Stephanie Pywell, Vikki Hubbard
Pole Vault: Kate Dennison, Emma Lyons
Triple Jump: Yasmin Regis, Laura Samuel, Nadia Williams
Shot Put: Eden Francis, Eleanor Gatrell, Rebecca Peake
Shot F32, 33,34/42/53: Gemma Prescott
Discus: Eden Francis, Jade Nicholls
Hammer: Zoe Derham, Sarah Holt
Javelin: Goldie Sayers, Laura Whittingham
Heptathlon: Phyllis Agbo, Grace Clements, Louise Hazel
4x100m: Montell Douglas, Katherine Endacott, Hayley Jones, Abi Oyepitan, Laura Turner, Joice Maduaka
4x400m: Victoria Barr, Meghan Beesley, Hayley Jones, Kelly Massey, Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro, Nadine Okyere.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Indian squad squad for Commonwealth Games

India will be fielding a 10-member contingent for the Commonwealth Games squash competition, Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) said on Monday.

Squash was first included in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. The entire Indian contingent will be making its Commonwealth Games debut.

The Delhi 2010 squash competition will feature five events - singles (men and women), doubles (men and women) and mixed doubles at the Siri Fort Sports Complex October 4-13.

"India has never won a Commonwealth Games (squash) medal, we do hope this year we shall be able to change this record," said national coach Cyrus Poncha.

"We are grateful to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and International Sports Division for their scheme for preparation of athletes for the Commonwealth Games. We are confident this will be of immense help to all sports," said Srivatsan Subramaniam, secretary general, SRFI.

Men: Saurav Ghosal, Siddharth Suchde, Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Sandeep Jangra, Gaurav Nandrajog.

Women: Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal, Anaka Alankamony, Anwesha Reddy, Surbhi Misra.

Stephanie Rice out of Commonwealth Games

Wiping tears from her eyes, Australian swimming's golden girl Stephanie Rice was forced to bow to the inevitable and abandon the Commonwealth Games.

The triple Beijing Olympic gold medal winner had hoped to put off surgery on her inflamed right shoulder until after spearheading the Australian squad at the Delhi Games in October but pain finally made her accept she should stop swimming immediately.

If she delayed the arthroscopic surgery, the 22-year-old Queenslander risked permanent damage and derailing her hopes at the 2012 Olympics in London.

"I think it is the right decision," said Rice, who at one point during her announcement burst into tears and had to walk away to compose herself.

The decision came a day after she swam a 50m butterfly heat on day one at the Pan Pacific Championships in California. Rice failed to make the final and was scheduled to swim two other events, however the shoulder injury flared.

"The real test was how it would pull up after a hard race," Rice said. "It pulled up really sore."

Rice will fly home and undergo the operation in Melbourne within two weeks, leaving a big hole in the Australian team at the PanPacs and Commonwealth Games.

"She is the spearhead of our women's team, if not the whole team," said Australian team head coach Leigh Nugent.

"To have someone of Steph's calibre and persona not to be representing on the team is a disappointment not only for her, (her coach) Michael (Bohl) but the whole team and I think that transfers to the Australian public.

Rice's team-mates echoed Nugent.

"Losing a team-member is devastating," said fellow Olympic gold medalist Leisel Jones.

Rice had been expected to swim the 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley, the 400m IM and 4x200m relay at the Commonwealth Games, Nugent said.

Rice won the 200m IM and 400m IM gold at the Beijing Olympics and led the Australian women to first in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

She is now focused on getting her shoulder right ahead of next year's national trials for the 2011 world championships.

"They have told me rehab is 12 weeks. I guess four weeks out of the water if surgery goes well," Rice said.

Rice's injury is not just one inflamed joint in her shoulder, but three joints, making surgery inevitable.

She has had seven cortisone injections in the shoulder, which is three more than what doctors recommend.

If she had more it could cause structural damage that could end her career.

"It is really inflamed," Rice said.

"There's three parts in your shoulder - the bursa, the capsule and a joint - and they are all inflamed.

"It's not just one problem so I can get rid of one issue, but the others are there.

"I have to have a clean out surgery. Thankfully I don't have to have a reconstruction so it is a shorter rehab."

"It's very disappointing, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games was a fantastic event to be part of, and for me personally, and I was really looking forward to the colour and excitement of Delhi.

"To not be able to compete at 100 per cent here at the PanPacs has been hard enough, but to make the decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games has been very difficult."

Guyana's boxing team for Commonwealth Games

The Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) has named a three-man boxing team for the Commonwealth Games scheduled for New Delhi, India from October 3-14.

Central American and Caribbean (CAC) bronze medallist Dexter Jordan will make his Commonwealth Games debut along with 2008 junior Commonwealth Games silver medallist Clevlon Rock and 2010 CAC member Devon Boatswain.

Accompanying the boxers are GABA president Steve Ninvalle, who will be the manager of the team, and coach Terrence Poole.

Absent from that list is 2010 CAC bronze medallist Ray Sandiford, who is serving a four-month suspension due to indiscipline in Puerto Rico where the CAC Games were held.

Jordan, 20, will be fighting in the flyweight class.

He has an impressive record on the local scene with 121 wins and nine losses and this will be his second time representing Guyana.

Twenty-year-old Rock, who was the CAC team captain, will be looking to rebound from his first round exit from the CAC championships and reproduce his 2008 silver medal performance in Pune, India. He will be competing in 60kgs/lightweight category.

Aside from being the junior Commonwealth silver medallist, he is the national bantamweight champion (2006) and the national open and novices champion of 2010. For middleweight Boatswain, who also lost in the first round of the CAC tournament, this is the first time he will be going to the Commonwealth Games. He started boxing in 2006 at the Guyana Defence Force gym and among his achievements he is the two-time welterweight champion (2009) and national middleweight champion (2010).

Meanwhile, when Stabroek Sport spoke to Ninvalle yesterday he said that the GABA will be looking to have the boxers encamped shortly. He indicated also that the GABA wants the boxers to have the best preparation for the championships and so there will also be a nutritionist onboard while the boxers are encamped.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Commonwealth Games tickets to be launched on 25-Aug

The Commonwealth Games 2010 tickets will be available in retail outlets across Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) from Wednesday. Earlier last month, Commonwealth Games organizing committee had launched online booking of the tickets.

The Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games have attracted the maximum interest, so far contributing 25 per cent of the sales. Among the sporting events, hockey is the front-runner, accounting for 14 per cent of the tickets sold so far, followed by athletics at 11 per cent and gymnastics at 10 per cent. Swimming is at the fourth spot with 8 per cent share.

Apart from the Indian market, Australia leads the tally with maximum number of buyers for tickets followed by New Zealand and Britain.

Select Central Bank of India branches are selling CWG tickets as well as seven nominated Hero Honda showrooms. The tickets can be purchased from IRCTC outlet in Central Delhi. All the ticket related information regarding list of the outlets and booking is available on www.tickets.cwgdelhi2010.org.

Apart from Delhi, tickets will also be available in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.

An added incentive for ticket-holders is free Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) rides on the day of the event, including the Opening and Closing ceremonies, All ticket-holders will be allowed one to and fro ride on the Metro and DTC buses for that specific day.

Internet sales gave the initial fillip to the sales that began in June. The first phase of the three-phase ticket sale process was exclusively through the Commonwealth Games ticketing website, while second phase enables people to access the retail outlets as well.

At the retail outlets, direct purchases can be made and those holding vouchers can also procure actual tickets there. The third phase will give people access to venue outlets as well.

England accounce CWG women's hockey squad

Hoping to improve upon the bronze medal-winning performance fours years ago in Melbourne, England has named a 16-member women's hockey squad for the upcoming Delhi Commonwealth Games.

Women's hockey was introducd in 1998. England has two Commonwealth Games silver medals (1998 and 2002) and won a bronze in 2006 since hockey's introduction in the Games and the English eves will be hoping to make it four medals in a row.

Defenders Kate Walsh, captain four years ago, Helen Richardson, Chloe Rogers, Beth Storry and Alex Danson are the survivors in the team from the bronze medal winning side in Melbourne.

England, however, had to drop two players from its World Cup squad starting later this month in Rosario, Argentina.

England Hockey head coach Danny Kerry said, "This has been a tough selection demonstrating the growing depth of the squad. We need to follow up our bronze medal in the Champions' Trophy last month with a strong performance in the World Cup and then step up again for the Commonwealth Games. This squad has the quality to handle the challenge."

The English eves have been grouped alongside New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago in Pool B while Pool A consists of defending champions Australia, hosts India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Scotland.

England women's hockey squad: Ashleigh Ball, Charlotte Craddock, Christie Cullen, Alex Danson, Susie Gilbert, Hannah Macleod, Helen Richardson, Chloe Rogers, Natalie Seymour, Beth Storry, Georgina Twigg, Laura Unsworth, Kate Walsh, Sally Walton, Nicola White, Kerry Williams.

Gurgaon gets public holiday on 14-Oct

The Haryana government Friday announced that Oct 14 will be observed as a public holiday in the entire Gurgaon district in view of the closing ceremony of the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games (CWG).

Haryana Chief Secretary Urvashi Gulati said the state government has decided to observe Oct 14 as a public holiday in all its public offices, including educational institutions, boards and corporations, situated within the limits of Gurgaon district, on account of the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Games, the biggest sporting event to be held in India so far, are being held in New Delhi Oct 3-14 this year.

Equipment testing at venues to begin on 1-Sep

All agencies involved in the preparation of the Commonwealth Games were on Friday directed by a Group of Ministers to hand over the venues to the Organising Committee by August 31.

The testing of various equipment and networks to be installed will commence from September 1, the GoM decided.

The GoM on Commonwealth Games which met also considered the status of the venues and took note of the problems being faced.

"This will all fall into place by August 31. The venues are already handed over. The network and technology that are to be installed will be installed by August 31. The testing will commence on September 1," Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs Sindhu Shree Khullar said after the meeting.

CWG OC gives thumbs up to venues

Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell's thumbs up for the Games venues. The audit and inspection report by Organizing committee came out amidst growing noise regarding delays in the venue readiness.

Fennell finished his two-day inspection tour of the Games venues on Thursday and gave thumbs up to stadiums. But sounding a note of caution Fennell admitted that corruption allegations were a matter of concern and needs to be investigated. He said that the Government must investigate all corruption allegations and added that some work still needed to be done at the venues to make them fully ready for the Games that will take place in New Delhi from October 3 to 14.

"We request various departments to conduct investigations into corruption allegations. There is no room for corruption and corrupt people in Commonwealth," said Fennell while addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday.

"There is still a lot of work especially landscaping has to be done. There are excellent stadiums but I am worried on finishing. This does not take much time, this takes some attitude. My advice to the Organising Committee is that they pay attention to organising the Games and not be distracted by other things," Fennell said.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Foxtel announces free Commonwealth Games channels

Foxtel sports subscribers are in for a treat in October when the Commonwealth Games airs from Delhi — it won't cost them an extra cent.

Unlike its Winter Olympics packages earlier this year, the pay TV giant is giving its sports subscribers all the events without any additional fee.

There will be six dedicated high-definition and six standard-definition channels bringing over 500 hours of live events.

This includes a highlights channel bringing you all the best of the day's events, hosted by news veteran, Steve Liebmann. It will also include live gymnastics.

CEO Kim Williams said: "We will offer our customers even more value for their Foxtel subscription by offering them — for free to all sports subscribers — the most comprehensive coverage of any sporting event ever in Australian television history through our six superb new interactive channels in high definition and standard definition.

"Foxtel will broadcast, live and in full, every single session of the swimming (heats and finals), diving, track athletics, track and road cycling, rugby sevens and gymnastics.

"And we'll also broadcast live and in full every single Australian men's and women's hockey match and every netball match featuring our Australian team."

Set to launch from October 4, the channels are as follows:

DELHI 1 GOLD: daily highlights and live gymnastics.
DELHI 2: swimming and diving
DELHI 3: athletics (track)
DELHI 4: athletics (field)
DELHI 5: cycling and rugby sevens
DELHI 6: hockey and netball

Other medal events to be covered include synchronised swimming, tennis, boxing, lawn bowls, badminton, wrestling, squash, archery, shooting and table tennis.

Once again there will be interactive applications via iQ/iQ2 and streaming broadcast at foxtel.com.au/delhi2010.

For those who are not subscribers there will be a stand-alone package of AUS$85 or the monthly sports tier subscription of AUS$16.

Free-to-air coverage will be broadcast by the TEN Network across the two weeks of the games.

Catering contract for Commonwealth Games venue finalized

The Commonwealth Games organising committee (OC) has decided on the caterers for the various venues of the Delhi Games 2010. The decision comes after a series of RFPs (request for proposal) were carried out and rejected after selecting bidders. The OC had finally shortlisted a list of catering firms including Aggarwal Foods earlier last week, which was approved by the executive board on Thursday. Besides Aggarwal Foods, several other companies including Graviss hospitality have been chosen to cater at the VIP lounge in the Commonwealth Games 2010 venues.

Confirming the deal, Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the OC said, "The executive board approved the OC's suggestion of hiring M/S AFP manufacturing private limited for the catering of our workforce. The caterers for the VIP lounge at the venues has also been chosen." Incidentally, the deal is worth Rs 9 crore. According to Bhanot, the decision to hire M/s AFP was taken as it offered the lowest bid. The packaged meal being provided by M/s AFP will cost around Rs 80-90, considerably lower than that quoted by IRCTC, which was the earlier choice for catering as per the old tender. IRCTC had at that time, offered a packaged meal at Rs 150.

Added Bhanot, "The quality and cost of the meal was the best offer that we had received, so we decided to go with the AFP offer." The packaged meal is for the OC workforce that includes volunteers, staff and security personnel.

The catering contract comes after months of delay. The first tender was taken out as early as in June 4, 2009, when the expression of interest by OC was released. On June 27, 2009, 25 companies responded out of which, 13 companies qualified. Thereafter, the tender was delayed after changes in the RFP, with OC finally deciding to re-tender in March 2010. In May, six firms were selected, which again got cancelled. On July 24, the OC came out with yet another tender, this time with the contract broken into packaged meals for the workforce and hot meals for the VIP lounge at the various venues.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Fennell, Hooper inspect Commonwealth Games venues

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell on Wednesday embarked on a tour of the stadiums and Commonwealth Games village in New Delhi as part of his two-day visit to monitor the preparedness for the October 3-14 Games. Fennell's visit comes at a time when the Commonwealth Games are embroiled in controversies ranging from financial irregularities, unpreparedness and sub-standard quality of work in Games projects.

The Jamaican, who arrived in India on Tuesday night, went around the city checking out the facilities at the stadiums. He was accompanied by CGF chief executive Mike Hooper, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) vice-chairman Randhir Singh and secretary general Lalit Bhanot.

Fennell began his day visiting the Thyagaraj Stadium at 9 am and then went on to see Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Indira Gandhi Complex, Games Village and Yamuna Sports Complex.

He will also be visiting Delhi University's Rugby Stadium, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Complex, Talkatora Stadium, Siri Fort Stadium and R K Khanna Stadium to complete his day.

The CGF president is also expected to have a series of meetings with government officials, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, and Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, who is the heading the Group of Ministers overseeing the preparations of the Games.

He is also expected to address the Organising Committee executive board.

Before Fennell's ongoing tour, Randhir and Bhanot made a round of all the facilities except the Kadarpur Shooting Range following the uproar over their unpreparedness.

The CGOC top brass, after their four-day tour of the venues, said they have scanned through the minute details related to the finishing touches and overlays and they appeared satisfactory.

The CGOC gave Aug 25 as the deadline when all the venues will be completely ready while the Games Village will be thrown open Sep 16 when foreign delegates will start arriving.

Surprise dope tests during Commonwealth Games 2010

In their bid to make the 19th Commonwealth Games a dope-free event, the Organising Committee with the support of Commonwealth Games Federation on Tuesday said that participating athletes would be subjected to surprise tests to deter them from using banned drugs.

The OC said that participating athletes from the 71 Commonwealth countries would be subjected to unannounced doping control tests, anytime and anywhere during the period of the Games.

The programme will act as a blend of deterrence, detection and education.

The CGF has approved a test distribution plan of 1,500 control tests — the highest at any Commonwealth Games.

The tests will comprise of urine, blood and breathe analysis, the OC said in a statement.

The committee said it would set up doping control facilities at all competition venues and training venues at par with international standards.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Australia announce Rugby 7s for Commonwealth Games

The Australian Sevens team to take part in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi has been named after a selection camp held in Canberra.

This will be the fourth time Rugby 7s has featured at the Commonwealth Games. Australia have been drawn along side arch rivals England, Namibia and Sri Lanka in Pool D for the 2 day tournament which takes place on October 11 and 12.

The squad have been put through their paces under the eye of coach Michael O’Connor, who had a selection headache in naming a final squad of 12 players. The squad has been hit with a raft of selection drama’s with no less than 9 players unavailable through injury and an unfortunate situation for new Waratahs back Brackin Karauria-Henry, who has been forced to withdraw due to eligibility issues despite already playing for Australia on the IRB circuit this year.

Key players including Henry Vanderglas, Ed Quirk, Jacob Taylor, Clint Sills and even back up Ed Stubbs have all been ruled out with injury leaving O’Connor to call in extra players including Nick Cummins, Lachie Turner and Pat McCabe, who was only called up to the camp last week after only 8 fit players were available for selection.

The squad will now head to Darwin for 10 days to prepare for India by competing in a Sevens tournament. It is fair to say the conditions in Darwin will be more beneficial after atrocious conditions in Canberra last week.

2010 Australian Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens team:
Liam Gill (18, QLD)
Kimami Sitauti (19, QLD)
James Stannard (27, ACT)
Pat McCabe (22, NSW)
Bernard Foley (20, NSW)
Luke Morahan (20, QLD)
Nick Phipps (21, NSW)
Robbie Coleman (20, NSW)
Pat McCutcheon (23, NSW)
Nick Cummins (22, WA)
Brian Sefanaia (24, NSW)
Lachie Turner (23, NSW)

New Zealand boxing squad for Commonwealth Games

A five-member boxing contingent will represent New Zealand in the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi from October 3-14.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) named young boxer Joseph Parker in the team which will also have the likes of Commonwealth Championship bronze medallist and world number 21, Nathan McEwen (75kg) and Angus Donaldson (60kg) who won silver at the Oceania Championships among others.

According to a NZOC statement, the other two members of the Kiwi team are Reece Papuni (81kg), who won bronze at the President's Cup in Baku, and Commonwealth Championships bronze medal winner David Aloua (91kg).

The 18-year-old Parker won silver in the Commonwealth Championships in Delhi earlier this year and bronze at the Youth World Championships in Baku (Azerbaijan).

Soon after his selection in the Delhi-bound squad, Parker, who will contest in the super-heavy weight category in the Commonwealth Games, said, "Now it's my chance to show New Zealand what I've got."

Boxing New Zealand chairman and former national coach John McKay said Parker is a medal prospect in the Commonwealth Games.

"He has very fast hands and is very mobile for a super-heavyweight. He's comparatively inexperienced but with only 30 competition bouts under his belt he is achieving very well," McKay said.

He also said that team contains two very experienced boxers in McEwen and Donaldson.

"These boys have very good idea what is required of them in Delhi which is to be very fit and technically well equipped. Today boxing is very technical," McKay said.

Rahman's Commonwealth Games theme song approved by GoM

Music maestro A R Rahman on Monday launched the theme song for Commonwealth Games 2010 here after the Group of Minister (GoM) on the Games approved the tune on Sunday.

(Watch video of Commonwealth Games theme song)

Dedicating the song to Mahatma Gandhi, Rahman said it is not similar to Shakira's Waka Waka, the official song of FIFA World Cup 2010, but it is full of energy and asked the crowd at the function to join in with him.

The Oscar winner's song will be sung in the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in October. The song composed by Oscar winning musician A.R. Rehman would be made public in the coming ten days. After the two-hour meeting, union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy said that the song will be the last song of the opening ceremony.

(Watch video of Commonwealth Games theme song)

Games' Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi said he has heard the song and " it is beautiful."

The approval for the tune came hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal on his Independence Day to treat the Games as a national festival.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Prime Minister takes charge of Commonwealth Games

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken charge of Commonwealth Games preparations, which continue to spiral out of control just less than a month and half before the event begins. He has handed over control to his top political and bureaucratic leadership, pushing Suresh Kalmadi and the OrganisingCommittee (OC) to the sidelines.

The PM empowered a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by urban development minister Jaipal Reddy and asked it to meet immediately and frequently. Empowering the GoM means it can take and implement decisions by itself. That’s exactly what the PM has asked it to do — take all decisions to ensure Games deadlines are met and the event goes off smoothly.

The GoM will hold its first meeting on Sunday.

In a severe indictment of the Kalmadi-led OC, the PM said those found guilty of the many corruption charges should face severe and exemplary punishment. He directed all ministries involved in Games preparations to thoroughly investigate all complaints of procedural and other irregularities.

Sources close to Kalmadi, however, said the OC chairman’s powers have not been curtailed.

The PM also said there have been “slippages” in time schedules and deficiencies in various Games project. To demonstrate his intent, he decided to visit select Games venues himself in the last week of August to take stock of the situation.

Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to brief her about overall preparations.

PM Singh’s action came a day after the Congress brass deliberated on the matter at the meeting of the party's Core Group. With the image of the OC taking a battering after a string of corruption charges against its top official, including Kalmadi, the PM also put in charge cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar to oversee preparations and directed him to liaise closely with the GoM to ensure effective coordination among concerned authorities.

The PM also made it clear the government will depute its top officers to the OC as and when required. The Committee of Secretaries, headed by the cabinet secretary, will continue to review implementation and have the status of an Empowered Committee.

The meeting was attended by Dikshit, Kalmadi, Reddy, Chandrashekhar, M.S. Gill, L-G Tejendra Khanna, PS to the PM T.K.A. Nair, among others.

It is, however, not the first time the PMO has had to step in to reign in the chaos surrounding the Games. In Nov 2009, worried over shoddy preparations, the PMO had deputed four officials to the OC, including OC CEO Jarnail Singh, to ensure the Games are held on schedule. But the move did little to rein in the mess the OC and other agencies have embroiled themselves in.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Merchandising partner pulls out of Commonwealth Games

The official merchandising and licensjavascript:void(0)ing partner of the Delhi Games, Premier Brands had been contemplating to withdraw as the delay in starting the process is amounting to huge losses every day.

"We have decided to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games as the project has got delayed too much," chairman of Premier Brands Suresh Kumar said.

"The contract to produce the merchandise was signed on May 19 with a minimum profit guarantee of 15-20 percent, which could have been around seven crores.

"But it got delayed by around three months and if I consider the 15-20 percent profit margin, it will come down to around 3 crore where as I am investing 13 crores. I can't effort to incur such huge loss," he added.

The launch of the project was originally scheduled for June 24 when the Queen's Baton Relay entered India through the Wagah Border.

The project included various initiatives like having a website for merchandising products, opening outlets across the Games venues and stores across shopping malls, metro stations and the airport.

Merchandising is an integral part of big-ticket sports events around the world, and is usually one of the primary techniques to earn back the money that has been invested in infrastructure and the conduct of the event.

Merchandising for the 2008 Beijing Olympics had started as early as three years before the Games. Even 2012 London Olympics' flagship store and online sales have already started although it is still two years to go.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar on Friday held a meeting with all the ministries concerned with the Games to take stock of the preparations.

Chandrasekhar had been visiting the Games venues for the last few days to oversee the preparations for the October 3-14 event.

Australian boxing squad for Commonwealth Games

Australian has named 10 men strong boxing squad for Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

19 yr old Moloney brothers, Andrew and Jason, are set to become the first boxing twins to represent Australia at the Commonwealth level when they take the ring in the October 3 to 14 event.

While Andrew competes in the light fly weight 49kg division, Jason will be fighting it out in the fly weight 52kg

They join cricketers Mark and Steve Waugh (1998) and cyclists Remo and Salsonetti (1978) as only the third pair of twins to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

The Moloneys are among five teenagers who will make their debuts in Delhi, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association said. 2006 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Luke Jackson will be the most experienced member of the Australian boxing contingent. The oldest member is Russian born super heavyweight pugilist Alexey Mukhin (29).

The squad has Andrew Moloney (light flyweight), Jason Moloney (flyweight), Ibrahim Balla (bantamweight), Luke Jackson (lightweight), Luke Woods (light welterweight), Cameron Hammond (welterweight), Damien Hooper (middleweight), Dane Mulivai (light heavyweight), Giancarlo Squillace (heavyweight), Alexey Mukhin (super heavyweight).

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

New Zealand announce Commonwealth Games weightlifting contingent

New Zealand announced weightlifting contingent for 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"We're delighted to have put together a team with some real potential. It's the largest Commonwealth team we've fielded since 1990. This is a direct result of continued development in the sport over the past eight years," he said.

Russian-born Stanislav Chalaev has been selected as a member of the weightlifting team to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this October.

Chalaev, who was earlier this year awarded a $20,000 grant from Cadbury to fund his Commonwealth dream, moved to New Zealand from Russia at age 12 and took up weightlifting to connect with his homeland. Today at 24 years old he was named as member of seven-strong weightlifting team representing his new country.

The team also includes Olympians Mark Spooner and Richard Patterson.

Chalaev finished third in the 2009 Commonwealth Championships and second at the Oceania Championships in 2010. Chalaev, Spooner and Patterson are three of the strongest prospects in the team that also includes some young athletes that have shown significant recent improvements.

"Our youngest team member Lou Guinares is just 19 years old and has increased his lift by a huge 10 percent in the last six months.

He's a young guy with plenty of talent. Cameron Sinclair is another young up and coming athlete and has increased his by lift 5 percent."

It is not just the young weightlifters showing improvement. Kate Howard is heading for her third Commonwealth Games and at 31 years of age has continued to show steady gains.

She represented Wales at Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006 and subsequently moved to New Zealand. The other female team member, Tracey Lambrechs, is strong super-heavyweight contender.

56 Kg: Lou Guinares (Auckland)
62 Kg: Cameron Sinclair (Christchurch)
69 Kg: Mark Spooner (Auckland)
85 Kg: Richard Patterson (Auckland)
105 Kg: Stanislav Chalaev (Auckland)

53 Kg: Kate Howard (Auckland)
75 Kg: Tracey Lambrechs (Auckland)

Faridabad to get Metro by 2013

Haryana government on Monday approved a budgetary allocation of about Rs 1,600 crore for the extension of Delhi Metro to Faridabad. The new Metro link from Badarpur to YMCA Chowk will hugely benefit residents of the NCR city and work is expected to start in a couple of months.

The financial approval came at a meeting chaired by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. A government spokesperson said the total cost of the 13.8-km Metro project has been estimated at Rs 2,533 crore, of which the Centre will bear Rs 544.4 crore. The CM informed that the project will be completed by March 31, 2013. "It will take at least three years to complete the project after work starts on ground. We are not taking any more work ahead of the Commonwealth Games," said a DMRC official.

This elevated stretch an extension of the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line of Delhi Metro will have nine stations up to YMCA Chowk. The Metro line up to Badarpur is likely to become operational by October.

Faridabad will be the last mega city in NCR to get Metro connectivity. While the Metro has already reached Noida and Gurgaon, it will extend up to Ghaziabad next year. Meanwhile, Haryana government has already announced to extend the Metro link to Ballabhgarh. Last year, Central government had set up a three-member committee to facilitate the extension of Delhi Metro to Faridabad and Bahadurgarh.

Monday, 9 August 2010

India announce Commonwealth Games Wrestling squad

The Indian wrestling team for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games was announced on Monday. Olympic bronze medallist Sushil Kumar will spearhead India's challenge at the Commonwealth Games in October as the Wrestling Federation of India announced teams for both freestyle and Greco Roman events.

The wrestling competitions of the Commonwealth Games will be held Oct 5-10.

Team for Commonwealth Games:
Free Style: Anil Kumar (55kg), Yogeshwar Dutt (60), Sushil Kumar (66), Sumit (74), Anuj Kumar (84), Mausam Khatri (96), Rajiv Tomar (120).

Greco Roman Style: Rajender Kumar (55kg), Ravinder Singh (60), Sunil Kumar (66), Sanjay Kumar (74), Manoj Kumar (84), Anil Kumar (96), Dharmender Dalal (120)

Female wrestling team: Nirmala Devi (48 Kg), Babita Kumari (51), Geeta (55), Alka Tomar (59), Suman Kundu (63), Anita (67), Gursharanpreet Kaur (72)

Noticable omissions from the team are Ramesh Kumar and Narsingh Yadav.

World championship medallist Ramesh Kumar (74kg category) has been left out of the Commonwealth Games squad. Narsingh Yadav (74), who won the Commonwealth Championship in December and Asian Championship in May, has not found place in the Senior World Wrestling Championship squad that was also announced Monday.

Ramesh Kumar won a bronze in the world championship last year, though his performance this year has not been good.

Malaysia to send 193 athletes and 72 officials to Commonwealth Games

The Malaysian contingent to the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in New Delhi from Oct 3-14, will comprise 193 athletes and 72 officials.

The men's and women's hockey teams made up of 32 players, will be the biggest squad in the contingent while aquatics with 27 athletes (13 swimming, 11 diving, 3 synchronized), and shooting with 23 make up the biggest three teams to New Delhi.

Commonwealth Games general manager Jefri Ngadirin said the boxing team with seven boxers would be the smallest team in the contingent.

"Overall the Malaysian contingent will be made up of 193 athletes and 72 officials," he told Bernama here Wednesday.

The other teams that make up the contingent are cycling (22), weightlifting (14), gymnastics (12), lawn bowls (12), archery (12), badminton (10), squash (10), table tennis (8), athletics (7), boxing (7) and 8 paralympics athletes (swimming 2, athletics 2, powerlifting-4.

Jefri said the lawn bowls team would be the first to leave for New Delhi (Sept 24) while the last batch of athletes to arrive in New Delhi (Oct 5) would be the cycling (road race), shooting (full bore), diving and powerlifting athletes.

Tata Motors bags turnkey deal for 2010 CWG

Organizing Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Motors to provide turnkey transport solutions during the Games and Queens Baton Relay 2010 Delhi. Tata Motors has been signed as official motor transport sponsor for Commonwealth Games Delhi.

The Organizing Committee has ordered a total of 1,789 vehicles from Tata Motors during the Games, which include 1,550 Tata Indigo, 100 Tata Safari, 109 Sumo Grande and 30 trucks required for transportation during the CWG.

As a part of turnkey commitment with the Organizing Committee, Tata Motors will also provide the drivers with CWG branded uniforms, fuel for all vehicles along with backup services and maintenance. In addition, Tata Motors will offer fleet and depot management services, beside 24x7 call center facilities. All vehicles provided by Tata Motors will have Commonwealth Games branding on them.

Tata Motors will also provide vehicles for the ongoing Queen Baton Relay, They will offer 20 Sumo Grande, one Land Rover, three trucks, and two buses for the relay. The fuel, driver and backup services for the vehicles during the Relay will be taken care of by the dealers of Tata Motors in different cities.

"We are delighted to welcome Tata Motors to our sponsor family. We are well on track to host a great Games and the arrival of Tata Motors as an official partner will contribute towards the delivery of the best ever Commonwealth Games," said Organizing Committee CWG 2010 Delhi chairman Suresh Kalmadi, MP.

"We are very happy to be associated with a mega sporting event in the league of Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi. This is a very proud alliance for us and we are sure that the Games will be a huge success." said Nitin Seth, head-car product group, passenger car business unit, Tata Motors.

Sarabjit sets records at CWG weightlifting trials

Indian lifter Sarabjit Singh broke four national records as the two-day weightlifting selection trials, part of the test event for Commonwealth Games 2010, concluded at Jawahar Lal stadium on Sunday.

Sarabjit recorded a snatch lift of 165kg and a jerk lift of 215kg for a combined weight of 380kg in the men's +105kg category.

In the women's +75kg, Geeta Rani lifted 100kg in snatch and 122kg in jerk for a total of 222kg, while L Monika lifted a total of 215kg (95+120) in the 75kg category.

Chandrakant Dadu Mal lifted 146kg in snatch and 173kg in jerk for a total effort of 319kg in the men's 85kg category, while V A Christopher lifted 138kg in snatch and 180kg in jerk for a combined lift of 318kg in 94kg category.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Commonwealth Games tickets sale 5% above target, cross $4 million

Notwithstanding the recent controversies engulfing the Commonwealth Games, over Rs 18 crore worth of tickets for the sporting event have been sold so far, an official said. "We have so far sold tickets worth $ four million," IRCTC's General Manager-Operations, Sanjay Aggarwal.

IRCTC had in March this year bagged the contract to be the official online ticketing agency for the games to be held between October 3-14 in New Delhi.

Aggarwal said the maximum number of tickets sold are for the opening and the closing ceremonies of the sporting extravaganza.

"It is obvious that more than the individual event venues, sales for the grand ceremonies are higher...you have spectacular events and artistes like AR Rehman performing at the ceremonies," he said.

Tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies are priced between Rs 750-Rs 50,000 each. For individual sporting disciplines, the ticket denominations are between Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 per seat.

The organisers said approximately 22 lakh tickets are available for sale and estimated that it would generate Rs 120 crore in revenue.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Delhi Commonwealth Games medals unveiled

The medals for the XIX Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi from October 3-14, were unveiled here today by Organising Committee (OC) Chairman Suresh Kalmadi who hoped that most of them would be won by the hosts themselves.

The medal has a simple design, with its dominant form being a rising upward spiral, representing the rise from struggle to glory for each athlete.

The front of the medal has the Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi logo and dates. The reverse side has the emblem of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

The medal is 6 mm thick with a diameter of 63.5 mm. The signature element’s starting fin is raised by 1 mm and it rises up to 3 mm on the last fin. The embossed logo and date is raised by 1mm.

The lanyard of the medal carries all six Games colors (pink, purple, green, red, yellow and blue) blending into each other. It is created with Delhi 2010 brand and design elements.

The medal case is clean and simple with black background enhancing the logo embossed on top in Gold, Silver or Bronze - matching the medal inside.

Mr Kalmadi said the OC had ordered 1408 medals in all, including multiple medals for team events.

"Indian athletes won 50 medals in the 2006 Games. We hope 70 of these wonderful medals will be won by Indian athletes. India finished fourth in the medal tally at Melbourne. We’re hopeful of moving to the third place this time," Mr Kalmadi said at a press conference here this evening.

He said his confidence stemmed from the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had provided as much as Rs 700 crore for the training of Indian athletes for the mega event that will be held in India for the first time.

The cost of producing each gold medal is Rs 5,539, while every silver medal costs Rs 4,818 and a bronze medal Rs 4,529. The total cost of producing all the medals is Rs 81,08,566 including the price of the boxes and lanyards, he said.

Considering the various constraints in medal manufacture, Tombac Bronze (92% copper, 6% zinc and 2% nickel) was selected as base metal. This metal has the ability to flow under compressive force and allow formation of sharp and firm features in design.

The India Government Mint, Kolkata, was entrusted with the design, development and manufacture of the medals. The Image & Look department of the CWG Delhi 2010 had created four design options from which the final design for selected

Trained personnel for Disaster management

A squad of 150 specially trained personnel will be deployed by the National Disaster Management Authority to keep vigil at all Commonwealth Games venues during the mega event to preempt any disaster or emergency situations.

The personnel have been trained by NDMA, India's highest authority on disaster management, as part of its disaster mitigation plan at the venues. "A squad of 150 personnel will man the Commonwealth Games venues. We are training them to deal with any sort of emergency situation,'' said vice chairman of NDMA, General (retd) N C Vij. He said the NDMA has tied up with the police and the Army to put in place an efficient disaster management mechanism during the sporting extravaganza, the biggest to be held in India after the Asian Games in 1982.

Without elaborating on details of the disaster management plan, Vij said the Army will also be providing some sort of "back up'' under the mechanism. He said 220 doctors have also been trained by the NDMA as part of its preparation for the Games. The NDMA has been organising mock drills in the capital to check preparedness of various agencies to deal with any sort of possible emergency situations.

Jersey announce Commonwealth Games contingent

Jersey have announced 33 competitors in their Commonwealth Games squad to head out to Delhi in October.

The island will be represented in eight different sports, including archery for the first time.

The archery team will be represented by Lucy O'Sullivan and Michael Coward, with Judy O'Sullivan as team manager.

Jersey are also sending their largest support team of any Commonwealth Games including four doctors because of increased risk of disease.

Jersey Commonwealth Games Association secretary general Alan Cross said a special development fund has helped the island side.

Alan Cross on badminton duo Mariana Agathangelou and Elizabeth Cann
He told BBC Jersey: "This is probably the best organised team in terms of preparation we have ever had leaving the island."

Jersey will be competing in archery, athletics, badminton, cycling, lawn bowls, squash, shooting and swimming.

They are hopeful of doing well in a number of sports including archery, lawn bowls and swimming through Ian Black.

Cross said: "We've heard excellent reports of Ian Black with his work down in Perth, he has got a couple of island records."

Jersey will also be sending a strong badminton contingent, although two of the island's best medal hopes could be unavailable because of a possible England call-up.

Mariana Agathangelou and Elizabeth Cann will find out this week whether they will play for Jersey or England in Delhi.

Cross said: "I think it is pretty certain that if they are selected for England that they will choose to compete for England, which is a shame for our point of view but understandable."

Jersey's Commonwealth Games Team:

Archery: Lucy O'Sullivan, Michael Coward
Athletics: Kathryn Rothwell, Zane Duquemin
Badminton: Kim Ashton, Solenn Pasturel, Mariana Agathangelou*, Elizabeth Cann*
Cycling: Robin Ovenden, Chris Spence, Richard Tanguy
Squash: Kate Cadigan, Jeannine Cowie, Michael Hopkins
Swimming: Ian Black
Lawn Bowls Ladies: Sue Noel, Christine Grimes, Helen Greechan, Karina Bisson, Rachel Macdonald, Joan Renouf
Lawn Bowls Men: Cyril Renouf, Derek Boswell, Allan Quernard, Malcolm De Sousa, John Lowery, Michael Rive
Shooting Full Bore: Bruce Horwood, Daniel Richardson
Shooting Small Bore: Steven Le Couilliard, Marc Yates
Pistol: Mary Norman
Shooting: Clay Target: Andrew De La Haye

* If athletes selected for England then they won't represent Jersey

Friday, 6 August 2010

11 venues handed over to CWG OC

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CWG OC) Friday took control of 11 competition venues to host the Oct 3-14 Games. The organising committee's venue team will now start the process of checking the assets and assessing the condition of all venues. The venue for lawn tennis, R.K. Khanna stadium was the first to be handed over to the CWG OC.

The Rugby7s venue in Delhi University and Thyagraj Stadium for netball has also been handed over. The organising commitee also took charge of the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium for hockey, Indira Gandhi Sports Complex and Karni Shooting Range.

"The remaining four venues hosting seven sports will be taken over by the weekend. We will make sure everything is in place before our team takes over each of the venues," said Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of CGOC.

Venues taken over by CGOC: R.K Khanna Stadium (tennis), Thyagraj Stadium (netball), Delhi University (Rugby7s), Talkatora Stadium (boxing), Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium (hockey), Indira Gandhi Sports Complex (cycling, gymnastics and wrestling), Karni Singh Shooting Range, Siri Fort (for badminton and squash).

Following seven venues will be taken over later this month: S.P. Mukherjee Sports Complex (swimming), Yamuna Sports Complex (table tennis), Yamuna Sports Complex (archery), Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, Athletics (weightlifting), Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium (lawn bowls and athletics) and Full Bore Shooting Range at Kadarpur.

CWG OC terminates contract with SMAM

Commonwealth Games Organising Committee terminating its contract with Australian-based Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM) is unlikely to have any impact on the sponsorship deals that have been already sealed for the upcoming Games.

Executives of companies like Tata Motors, Hero Honda, Coca-Cola and Reebok, besides public sector firms like Central Bank of India, which has already been roped in as one of the sponsors, said their deals will not change due to the removal of the agency handling the sponsorships.

Spokesmen of most sponsors who have already come on board said their deal has been legally signed with the Organising Committee(OC) whereas SMAM was just a facilitating agency.

SMAM’s contract was terminated by the Commonwealth Games OC over alleged non-performance and inability to deliver sponsorship targets. The OC alleged that SMAM had failed to notch up sponsorships worth $122 million by June 30. Out of the 48 sponsorship opportunities identified only about 11 sponsors had come on board.

According to Australian media reports, SMAM executives on Friday maintained that they do not have any confirmation from officials in Delhi about the termination of their contract, thus denying any wrong-doing.

Meanwhile, another firm Premier Brands, which has the official rights for merchandising and licensing for the Games, plans to launch its merchandise by Monday.

Suresh Kumar, chairman of Premier Brands, which is a subsidiary of Compact Disc India, said the company will be selling the official merchandise in mini-vans in schools and residential areas besides 70 other locations around the Commonwealth Games venues. The company has roped in brands like Luxor Pens, Adani Oil, SR Foils and Vigneshwara Developers, among others.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Scotland squash team for Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) and Scottish Squash have named the 6 players (four men and two women) who will represent Team Scotland in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events at the games in Delhi.

Two of the players named, Harry Leitch and Frania Gillen-Buchert, were in the 2006 Scottish team in Melbourne.

"Scottish squash players have a long tradition of success in the sport and this team has demonstrated that they have the ingredients to take on the best squash playing nations in the world," said Scottish Squash head coach Roger Flynn. "We are particularly targeting the doubles competitions, where we believe we have the best chance of medalling."

The competition will be held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex from 4-13 October.

Team Scotland: Alan Clyne, 24 (singles, men's doubles, mixed doubles). Harry Leitch, 25 (singles, men's doubles, mixed doubles). Lyall Paterson, 21 (singles, men's doubles). Chris Small, 32 (singles, men's doubles). Lisa Aitken, 20 (singles, women's doubles, mixed doubles). Frania Gillen-Buchert, 28 (singles, women's doubles, mixed doubles).

Badminton Canada announces team for 2010 Commonwealth Games

Anna Rice (Vancouver, BC), Canada's top-ranked female badminton player, ranked 29th in the world, will lead a very talented group of Canadian badminton players into Delhi, India in October for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The Canadian team will face many of the world's top badminton nations including Malaysia, England, Singapore and the hosts from India.

"I'm especially excited to welcome our badminton athletes to the Canadian team going to Delhi," said Martha Deacon, Canada's Chef de Mission. "Over the past ten years, as a leader in badminton nationally and internationally, I have had the privilege of watching each one of these athletes develop into world-class players. I'm sure the Commonwealth Games will be pivotal to their success."

Kyle Hunter, Executive Director of Badminton Canada, added: "We are sending a top-notch team with a nice mix of both experience and youth. We know that players like Anna Rice and Jon Vandervet (Edmonton, AB) will provide great leadership to the younger players and as a group they'll aim to perform at their highest level in both singles and doubles. On the women's side, Badminton Canada would like to acknowledge the selflessness of veteran player and Olympian Milaine Cloutier for allowing her hard-earned spot on the team to be utilized by a younger deserving National Team athlete. It is this kind of sacrifice and camaraderie amongst our athletes that will bring our program to new levels of achievement."

Athletes named by Badminton Canada to Team Canada for the 2010 Commonwealth Games were selected based on their ranking after several competitions across North America over the past six months. They include:

Anna Rice, Michelle Li, Alexandra Bruce, Grace Gao, 20, (Calgary, AB), Joycelyn Ko, 24, (Toronto, ON), Women's Singles,

David Snider, 22, (Winnipeg, MB), Men's Singles, Alexander Pang, 22, (Calgary, AB), Men's Singles, Alvin Lau, 25, (Vancouver, BC), Men's Doubles, Jon Vandervet, 28, (Edmonton, AB), Men's Doubles, Toby Ng, 24, (Calgary, AB), Mixed Doubles,

Idowu to defend Commonwealth Games title

World and European champion British triple jumper Phillips Idowu has confirmed that he will defend his title at the October 3-14 megaevent in Delhi.

Idowu, who won the world title in 2009 and captured gold at the European Championships in Barcelona last week, has said that he will participate in this year's Commonwealth Games. He mentioned that even London Olympics are on terror radar so it is frivilous to sit at home and not take part in Commonwealth Games, which is one of the most important event in the calendar.

"I'm looking forward to going out and defending my title," said the 31-year-old athlete, who won the gold in Melbourne four years ago, is adamant he will don the England vest in October.

"It's great to pull on an England vest. I won my first major championship gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, so the event means a lot to me," the Beijing Olympics silver medallist was quoted as saying by the British media.

The Games has lost its charm after sprint king Usain Bolt, Jamaican and Olympic 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser and cyclists Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins have decided to give the event a miss for varied reasons.

But Idowu's confirmation will come as a boost for the orgainsers, who are presently facing the heat for shambolic preparations and corruption allegations related to various Games projects with less than two months to go for the event.

Meanwhile, England chef de mission for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Craig Hunter said the event will provide young British athletes a chance to get a feel of multi-discipline events ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

"We've already got an impressive list of athletes including Olympic and World champions within our team and we're looking forward to adding further team selections in the near future as the countdown to the Games continues," Hunter said.

"As well as providing a platform for some of the country's top athletes, Delhi will also provide a unique opportunity for some of the country's most talented teenagers to shine and to experience a multi-sports Games ahead of London 2012.

"We're looking forward to a fantastic Commonwealth Games," he added.

Heads start rolling: Khanna resigns, Darbari sacked

The forthcoming Commonwealth Games 2010 continue to face turbulence as the CWG Organizing Committee treasurer Anil Khanna resigned in the wake of allegations of financial misconduct against his family.

It was alleged that his son's firm secured a contract for laying synthetic courts at the Tennis Stadium using his clout. Khanna's son Aditya owns stakes in Rebound Ace, an Australian Firm. The firm reportedly got the contract for laying 14 synthetic courts at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi. Khanna took moral grounds and resigned stating that all contracts were awarded much before he took on his position in Organizing Committee.

Anil Khanna also holds the post of All India Tennis Association Secretary.

A top source in the OC said that some members will press for the immediate ouster of Deputy Director General T S Darbari, whose name has figured in the investigations into alleged irregularities into services provided during the Queen's Baton Relay in London.

A week after TV reports of a murky deal with London-based AM firm, IOA probe panel sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee joint director T S Darbari, a close aide of OC chief Suresh Kalmadi.

With the credibility of the OC taking a severe beating with more and more scandals coming out in the past few days, there is intense pressure on Kalmadi to start the cleansing operation.

Canada's Athletics squad for Commonwealth Games

Athletics Canada announced a team of 40 athletes today which will compete at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Athletics competition at the Commonwealth Games starts October 6th and will wrap up on the 12th.

(Read: Commonwealth Games Athletics schedule)

"At the Commonwealth Games in Delhi we expect all athletes to perform at their highest level for this year", comments Head Coach Alex Gardiner. "We are using the Commonwealth Games as an important benchmark for those athletes pursuing selection for the London Olympic Games. Results in Delhi will have a direct bearing on who we provide additional support for in the next two years leading to 2012. All athletes will have to prove readiness in September before we go to India or risk de-selection."

Athletes are as follows:
100m: Jared Connaughton (New Haven, PEI), Sam Effah (Calgary, AB), Megan Muscat (St. Thomas, ON), Leah Robinson (Petersburg, ON)

100m Hurdles: Angela Whyte (Edmonton, AB)

1500m: Josh Cassidy (Guelph, ON), Jean-Paul Compaore (Sherbrooke, QC), Nicole Edwards (Winnipeg, MB), Taylor Milne (Guelph, ON), Diane Roy (Sherbrooke, QC), Hilary Stellingwerff (Sarnia, ON)

200m: Bryan Barnett (Edmonton, AB), Jared Connaughton (New Haven, PEI), Adrienne Power (Halifax, NS)

20km Racewalk: Evan Dunfee (Richmond, BC), Inaki Gomez (Vancouver, BC)

400m: Carline Muir (Edmonton, AB), Amonn Nelson (Calgary, AB)

4x100m: Bryan Barnett (Edmonton, AB), Jared Connaughton (New Haven, PEI), Sam Effah (Calgary, AB), Michael LeBlanc (Riverview, NB), Hank Palmer (Lasalle, QC), Oluseyi Smith (Ottawa, ON)

4x400m: Ruky Abdulai (Coquitlam, BC), Diane Cummins (Victoria, BC), Carline Muir (Edmonton, AB), Amonn Nelson (Calgary, AB), Adrienne Power (Halifax, NS), Vicki Tolton (Smithers, BC)

5000m: Megan Wright (Edmonton, AB)

800m: Diane Cummins (Victoria, BC)

Decathlon: Jamie Adjetey-Nelson (Windsor, ON)

Hammer Throw: Sultana Frizell (Perth, ON), Megann Rodhe (Kamloops, BC), Crystal Smith (Kamloops, BC)

Heptathlon: Jessica Zelinka (Calgary, AB)

High Jump: Jillian Drouin (Corunna, ON), Nicole Forrester (Aurora, ON), Michael Mason (Nanoose Bay, BC)

Long Jump: Ruky Abdulai (Coquitlam, BC), Tabia Charles (Pickering, ON), Alice Falaiye (Brampton, ON)

Pole Vault: Carly Dockendorf (Port Moody, BC), Gabriella Duclos-Lasnier (Quebec, QC), Kelsie Hendry (Saskatoon, SK), Jason Wurster (Toronto, ON)

Shot Put: Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops, BC), Kyle Pettey (Brampton, ON)

Triple Jump: Tabia Charles (Pickering, ON)
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