Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Commonwealth Games 2010 India kick-start 19th Games
The biggest sporting spectacle India has ever hosted kicked off in typically colourful fashion on Sunday night when the 19th Commonwealth Games was officially declared open. And there we were thinking it might never happen.
After seven years of planning for these Games - many would differ with the number - and months of controversy over security, falling bridges, cobras, dengue fever and the state of the athletes’ village, the grand opening was finally able to showcase what India is good at on the night - putting on a show full of rich culture and tradition.
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The embattled Games organisers would also have breathed a huge sigh of relief that, at last, focus could be turned towards India’s heritage before 17 sports begin the quest for gold on Monday morning.
India’s chief minister Sheila Dikshit and CWG chief Suresh Kalmadi were even afforded generous applause by the packed stadium - that was to change during Kalmadi’s speech when a majority of the stadium booed - despite the bitter backlash the pair have endured to get the event Games-ready.
“We had challenges and there have been delays but we have been able to rise above them all,” said Kalmadi, who clearly divides opinion with the Indian public.
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, were introduced to the 60,000-strong Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium along with Indian President Prathiba Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the audience stood for the national anthem.
An uplifting opening segment then let everyone remind themselves why they were here in the first place. Powerful music, consistent drumming and clever use of India’s three colours - green, white and orange - emblazoned the first 30 minutes before the 4,000 athletes from 71 countries entered the fray.
Reigning silver medalist India had to split points after being held to a 1-1 draw by a lowly Scotland in their opening Pool A match of the women's hockey event in the Commonwealth Games at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here today. The Indians fought back from a 0-1 deficit through Jasjeet Kaur Handa (45th minute) after Scotland took the lead in the third minute from a Holly Gram field goal.
The Indian eves had a mixed day in office, displaying contrasting hockey in both halves. While the home team looked out of sorts in the opening period, they dominated proceedings after the breather. India looked clueless in the first half, sparkling only in patches, while the Scots were by far the better side on display as they combined well to put pressure on the opponent's defence on numerous occasions.
In front of a sparse crowd that gathered at the stadium here, India conceded a goal early in the opening half, and from there on, played the catch-up game in the rest of the half. The less-fancied Scots surged ahead as early as in the third minute when Gram scored from a field goal from the left wing. The Indians, however, got numerous opportunities to draw level but poor ball control and finishing let them down. The Indians wasted a golden chance to draw parity in the eighth minute from their first penalty corner.
Captain Surinder did the spade work by earning a set piece only to see Subhadra Pradhan shot's being deflected wide off the target by charger Linda Clement. Slowly and steadily Scotland took control of the proceedings as India lacked cohesion while attacking and seemed to run out of ideas inside the opponents' box. Credit must also go to the agile Scottish defence, which stood firm during difficult situations. In the 18th minute, Scotland earned two back-to-back short corners but on both occasion, their variations did not work. Veteran Saba Anjum earned India its second penalty corner in the 26th minute but Handa's flick went over the bar.
Commonwealth Games: the Opening Ceremony - Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
Artistic Gymnastics: (IG Sports Complex)
Swimming (Dr SPM Swimming Complex)
Archery (Yamuna Sports Complex/India Gate), Tennis (RK Khanna Tennis Stadium)
Weightlifting (JN Sports Complex)
Netball (Thyagaraj Sports Complex)
Bowls (JN Sports Complex)
Badminton (Siri Fort Sports Complex), Hockey (Maj. Dhyan Chand National Stadium), Squash (Siri Fort Sports Complex), Table Tennis (Yamuna Sports Complex).
Track Cycling (G Sports Complex)
Wrestling (IG Sports Complex)
Oct 5-11, 13
Boxing (Talkatora Indoor Stadium), Shooting pistol & small bore (Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range).
Athletics track and field (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium)
Shooting clay target (Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range)
Synchronised swimming (Dr SPM Swimming Complex)
Athletics 20m walk (India Gate)
Shooting full bore (CRPF Campus, Kadarpur)
Road Cycling, mass start (India Gate)
Rugby Union sevens (Delhi University)
Rhythmic Gymnastics (IG Sports Complex)
Diving (Dr SPM Swimming Complex), Cycling Time Trials (Noida Highway Express Road)
Athletics Marathon (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium/marathon course), closing ceremony (Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium)