KARACHI – Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi was frank in admitting that India clinched the honour of hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games through Pakistan’s support and appreciated the role of its neighbour. Suresh Kalmadi was reported in a section of Indian media recently as saying that Pakistan supported India to get the Commonwealth Games which India cannot forget. When India and Canada were locked in a two-way battle for getting the hosting rights and Pakistan supported India in its bid, said Kalmadi.
In the meantime, Queens baton relay will arrive in India from Pakistan through Wagah Border on June 25 after finishing its Pakistan leg.
“The baton will arrive in India on June 25 and proceed to Amritsar via road on the same day in the evening. During its 100-day-long programme, the baton will pass through all the states and union territories before finally arriving in Delhi on September 30, three days prior to the start of the Games.
“The Baton will traverse through 400 cities and villages during its India tour and we have selected 5,000 baton bearers. A number of international athletes would be present to receive the Baton when it reaches their respective states,” Kalmadi said.
The national leg of around 20,000 kms in India will be twice the distance which was covered in the 2002 and 2006 Games in Manchester and Melbourne respectively.
Kalmadi said that purpose of the relay is to get the people involved and chance would be given to the masses to carry the baton when it reaches their respective state.
President India Ms Pratibha Patil had received the baton from Queen Elizabeth II in London on October 29 last year before it began its journey to New Delhi, traveling through 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, Indian media reported. - THE NATION