Sydney, Apr.19 (ANI): India has promised Australia a safe, secure and splendid Commonwealth Games.
Suresh Kalmadi, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi, made the pledge as the Queen's Baton Relay arrived in Australia as part of a tour of all 71 Commonwealth countries leading up to the XIX Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in October this year.
In a message to the people of Australia, Kalmadi said: "India is on the verge of creating sporting history. In the 60 years of our independence, this is the first time we are hosting the Commonwealth Games, so it is very special and proud moment for all of us."
"Hosting a sporting event of the magnitude of the Commonwealth Games is a matter of international prestige and pride. India is heralded as one of the next economic superpowers of the world and the Games will be another opportunity to project the nation on the world stage," he added.
"Delhi too, as the host city, will get the chance to exhibit a new image for itself - that of a world class city with international standards," he said further.
Kalmadi further added, "Security is of paramount importance and will not be compromised under any circumstances. A full proof security system is in place and the just concluded test events served a dual purpose, not only were the facilities tested for compliance to international standards, but it was a trial run for the security agencies in the country."
"Some of the visiting sportspersons have gone on record praising the facilities and security arrangements. This is a testimony to the efforts in place," he said.
The honour of carrying the baton on its first leg on Australian soil at Parramatta in western Sydney went to wheelchair athlete Kristy Pond. Later Commonwealth Games road cycling champion, Natalie Bates took the baton to Parramatta wharf where it was put on board a ferry bound for the Sydney Opera House.
Mr. T S Darbari, Joint Director General, Organising Committee, Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi who is leading the Indian delegation to Australia coinciding with the business meet to be held with the Australian business community under the aegis of Commonwealth Games Business Community, said on the occasion: "India is a warm and hospitable country and is on the verge of creating sporting history. I welcome you all to visit us during the XIX Commonwealth Games and get a first hand experience of our wonderful country. It is our endeavor to provide safe, secure and splendid games and we are confident of its success." (ANI)