The 19th version of the Commonwealth games started on the 3rd of October in New Delhi, India. Many countries had threatened to withdraw from the games due to terrorist threats and poor preparations, especially after the collapse of a foot bridge near the main stadium. Despite all these, the games still promises to be exciting and captivating. Nigeria will compete in track and field, boxing, weightlifting, wrestling, special sports and table tennis.
The country’s hopes will again be in special sports, athletics and table tennis. Please watch out for multi-talented Blessing Okagbare, the star at the recently concluded African Athletics Championship in Kenya, She is Nigeria’s biggest medal prospect. Okagbare will feature in the 100 and 200 meters sprints, the long jump as well as anchor the 4x100m relay team.
Also look out for the likes of Ajoke Odumosu in the 400m hurdles event and Tosin Oke in the triple jump event.
Facts about the 2010 Commonwealth games:
• A total of 71 Countries will be participating in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth games.
• The official mascot of the 2010 games is SHERA, a friendly tiger. His name comes from the Hindi word “sher” which means tiger.
• The games start on October 3rd and end 14th October 2010.
• The opening and closing ceremonies will take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi.
• Business Today Magazine estimates the total cost of the games to be 15.47 Billion dollars. (Unbelievable!!!)
• The motto of the 2010 Commonwealth games is “Come out and play”.
• Rwanda gained Commonwealth membership in 2010 and is expected to participate in the 2010 games.
• Lawn Tennis will be making its debut at the 2010 games.
Facts about the Commonwealth games:
• The first Commonwealth games were held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930.
• At the 1930 games, women competed in the swimming events only.
• Only six teams have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.
• Willie Wood from Scotland is the first competitor to have competed in 7 Commonwealth games from 1974 to 2002.
• Nigeria boycotted the games in 1978 in protest of a New Zealand’s sporting contacts with South Africa (Naija sha).
• Since 1958, there has been a relay of athletes carrying a baton from Buckingham Palace to the Opening Ceremony. This baton has within it Queen Elizabeth II’s message of greeting to the athletes. The baton’s final bearer is usually a famous sporting personage of the host nation.
Once again watch out for Blessing Okagbare…Thank you.