Pune, Mar 12 (UNI) Sports personalities here have expressed joy at the city being accorded the honour of hosting the Youth Commonwealth Games 2008.
Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, after attending the Commonwealth Games General Council meeting in Melbourne, told Maharashtra Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA) president Adille Sumariwalla that the youth games will be a dress rehearsal for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi.
''It will open a new chapter in the annals of Indian sports,'' the IOA chief said.
The IOA president said that Pune being the birthplace of the Olympic movement, is keen to host the first-ever Youth Commonwealth Games.
Former sprint ace Adille Sumariwalla said it would help the Indian athletes to get an exposure and compete with athletes from foreign countries.
Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has also congratulated Mr Kalmadi for getting the games to Pune.
Asian Weightlifting technical chief R B Gulati said the games will enable sportspersons to improve on their performance and also help in improving the infrastructural facilities.
Former national champion and Indian Davis cup coach Nandan Bal said it was a matter of pride for the city. It will not only go to enhance the performance of the Indian athletes but also improve on the infra-structure facilities as well. It will provide a boost to the athletes from the states, he said.
Indian badminton coach and former international player Uday Pawar expressed his joy stating that the games will usher in a new era in sports.
Former boxing ace and Arjuna awardee Manoj Pingale said it is a feather in the Indian cap and will add a new dimension to Indian sports. The event will also improve the infrastructure facilities. Boxing will get a shot in the arm and will extend new challenges to the youth of the country, he added.
Dhyanchand lifetime awardee for sports Smita Yadav stated, ''It is indeed a matter of pride to have the youth games in Pune. The exposure of international-level sports will be helpful to the youth from Pune.'' UNI IS MAZ ARB VC2350