More than 6,700 athletes and officials from 71 nations will vie for honors in 17 sports

With Games opening, India on show from Sunday
Delhi gears up to host the biggest-sporting extravaganza, the Common Wealth Games, 2010, beginning on Sunday. This would be the biggest such event the country has ever held.

The Games would see the largest participation of sports persons in the history of the CWG as more than 6,700 athletes and officials from 71 nations will vie for honors in 17 sports events.

The Queen’s baton today continued its journey through important places in the national capital, including the Games village. It will reach its final destination, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the venue of the opening ceremony on Sunday. The Baton will be received by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, who will read The Queen’s message. President of India Pratiba Devisingh Patil will deliver an address to signal the commencement of the Games.

With barely a day to go for the sporting spectacle, focus now shifts to the gala opening ceremony which would provide a glimpse of India's great heritage and tradition through a light, music and dance show. For the first time in the history of the Games, athletes will march into the stadium during the opening segment of the Games.

The two-hour cultural extravaganza will highlight the rhythms and ragas of India and would be performed by over 7,000 artistes including the top names from the Indian music industry including A.R. Rahman and Shankar Mahadevan.

The gala opening ceremony will also have a spiritual touch. Azaan, Vedic and Buddhist chants will be played in the background as performers—wearing costumes depicting different aspects of the pluralist character of India—present the theme song Swagatam in different Indian languages.

The highlight of the opening of the Games will be an Aerostat that depicts images of leaders, important monuments and themes representing various periods in Indian history.

Sportspersons who made India proud in the global arena, Vijender Kumar, Saina Nehwal , Sushil Kumar , Samresh Jung and Mary Kom, will be the torch bearers.

The opening ceremony will begin at 7 pm with hosts of the previous edition of the Games in 2006, Australia, leading the march past followed by other countries in alphabetical order while hosts India will be last with the country’s only gold medalist in the Olympics Abhinav Bhindra being its flag bearer.

Air correspondent reports that hosts India has the largest contingent of 619 athletes, 379 men and 240 women who will compete in all the 17 disciplines.

The News Serivce Division of All India Radio will bring six special bulletins of five minutes duration each in Hindi and English during the Commonwealth Games from Sunday to the 14th of this month.

The Special News bulletin in English will be available at 1210 hrs, 1610 hrs and 1910 hrs and the Hindi News bulletin will be on the air at 1205 hrs, 1605 hrs and 1905 hrs on FM Gold Channel. There will be Commonwealth Games special coverage in all major bulletins. 

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