COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Fennell praises Delhi 2010 opening ceremony
COMMONWEALTH Games Federation president Mike Fennell has lavished praise on Delhi 2010's opening ceremony, just days after slamming the organising committee's preparations.
CONTENT: CGF president Mike Fennell has been vocal in condemning the Delhi 2010 organising committee recently but he was impressed by Sunday's opening ceremony (Reuters)
A spectacular opening ceremony declared the Games open as a sea of colour engulfed the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.
Organisers had promised an impressive opening ceremony and that was at least one that they did not go back on - and Delhi 2010 organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi was in typically bullish mood.
It came in stark contrast to the problems that have plagued the Games' preparations, including a stream of reports about unfit living conditions at the athletes' village, collapsing venues and heightened security fears.
During the opening ceremony, Kalmadi defiantly declared those problems had been resolved and that Delhi was ready to host the XIX Commonwealth Games.
And while Fennell has not been shy to voice his disapproval of the organising committee's shambolic preparations, he admitted he was impressed by Sunday night's curtain raiser.
"Our congratulations to Delhi for a most spectacular opening ceremony last night. It was truly exhilarating and set the right tone for the start of the Games," he said.
"The 60,000 spectators at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the many hundreds of millions who watched the ceremony on television worldwide, were treated to a magnificent insight into the culture and diversity of India.
"To the producers and artists and all the performers, our congratulations on a performance from the heart.
"To the athletes of the 71 countries and territories that make up the Commonwealth, we hope this will be the start of an amazing adventure.
"The city of Delhi welcomed the athletes and officials with its traditional warmth. The athletes were touched by the quality of the good hospitality.
"The preparation to the Games was filled with many challenges.
"Now in the next 11 days we will focus on the competition and follow the athletes in their quest for victory and glory. The athletes will exemplify the qualities of fair play and respect for all."