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Focus Will Be On Athletes At CWG Opening Ceremony

Mumbai, Sep 29:  For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth Games, the participants would march in with their respective countries' contingents during Sunday's Opening Ceremony, and would be seated alongside guests at
PTI September 29, 2010 16:43 IST
PTI
Mumbai, Sep 29:  For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth Games, the participants would march in with their respective countries' contingents during Sunday's Opening Ceremony, and would be seated alongside guests at the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Michael Fennell said this is a part of the protocol arrangements for the Opening Ceremony.

"Both the CGF and the Organising Committee (OC) have agreed that the emphasis during the ceremony must be on the athletes, allowing them to be the focus of attention," Fennell said in a media release issued on behalf of the CGF.

 Normally, in multi-discipline events like the CWG, the Olympic Games and the Asian Games, the athletes march in as part of their countries' contingents and are directed towards the centre of the field from where they witness the ceremony.

"The Games are about the athletes, the ceremony recognises the commencement of the Games, so it is appropriate that the athletes are honoured in this way," Fennel said.

Dignitaries present during the ceremony will include President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prince Charles, as representative of Commonwealth head Queen Elizabeth, Fennell and OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

Also present will be the CGF's Vice Patron, Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, the release said.

 The Queen's Baton would arrive at the stadium at 8.26 pm, hours after completing its 170,000-km journey across Commonwealth's 71 nations and territories.

The Baton will be received by Prince Charles, who will read Queen Elizabeth's message. President Pratibha Patil will then deliver her address and signal the commencement of the Games.

The formal part of the ceremony would be followed by a 45-minute show showcasing the country's diversity and cultural heritage, the release added. PTI