Thursday, July 24, 2014

And so the Games begin in Glasgow

GLASGOW: Athletes and officials at the 20th Commonwealth Games were treated to Scottish hospitality and a grand traditional Glasgow welcome during the opening ceremony at the Celtic Park Stadium on Wednesday.

The Games was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in front of 40,000 spectators - and an estimated television audience of one billion viewers.

Earlier, the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond requested a show of solidarity from the Commonwealth Games family to observe a minute of silence as a demonstration of respect for victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight disaster last week.

Some 6,500 participants from 71 nations will be taking part in Glasgow, making it the biggest Commonwealth Games ever.
This is the third time Scotland are hosting the Games after Edinburgh hosted it twice in 1970 and 1986.

A total of 17 sports will be contested - athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymastics, hockey, judo, lawn bowls, netball, rugby, shooting, squash, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling.

 The 11-day event will include top athletes such as Usain Bolt, David Rudisha and Mo Farah.
The colourful opening ceremony featured celebrities Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle.

 Amidst a colourful aerobatic air display, CGF president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar received Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh upon their arrival at Celtic Park.

This was followed by the national anthem of United Kingdom - 'God Save the Queen'.
India were the first contingent to roll out for the march-pass followed by Bangladesh, Brunei and Malaysia.

National track cyclist Fatehah Mustapa was the flag bearer of the Malaysian contingent who appeared in the traditional 'Baju Melayu' with a black arm band

The frontline of the Malaysian contingent wore the uniform of the Malaysia Airlines as a tribute to the MH17 disaster.

Seven-time squash world champion Nicol David ushered in the Commonwealth Games flag together with Australian swimming sensation Ian Thorpe (Oceania). Canada's wheelchair racing star Chantal Petitclerc (Americas), Kenyan distance runner Kip Keino (Africa), Jamaican track and field sprinter Shelley Ann Fraser (Carribean) and Scottish former Judo world champion Graeme Randal (Europe).
Two-time Olympic track cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy handed over the Queen's baton to Tunku Imran. The Queen then received the message from Tunku Imran before declaring open the 20th edition of the Games.

by Eric Samuel - The Star

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