The Australian High Commission played host to their national contingent for the Games on Friday, and also named the team’s flag-bearer on the occasion. Sharelle McMahon, the captain of the Australian netball team, two-time gold medal winners, became the first team sport competitor to be named flag-bearer. McMahon is widely regarded as the best netball player in the world.
“I was shocked when my name was called out, but of course it is a great honour to lead the team at the opening ceremony,” she said. When asked about her experience in India so far, she said, “The Village is amazing, and now that it is starting to fill up, things are getting really exciting. The fact that we have armed guards everywhere we go is different, but they are actually quite sweet, so it isn’t scary at all.”
Steve Moneghetti, the chef de mission also expressed his sagtisfaction with the facilities, and added that his team were now shifting focus from administrative aspects, to the actual competition.
“We are confident of topping the medals tally once again. Australians are competitive by nature, and our athletes always win medals by the truckload, so this time will be no different. There has been a change of guard of sorts in Australian sport, so there are a lot on young and exciting athletes in the squad. The swimmers, cyclists and even the lifters are al young and we are sure some stars will be born.”
When asked about pull-outs, Moneghetti said, “It’s possible to say that some people could have waited before pulling out, but they decided not to come , and security is just one of them. We respect their decisions. In fact if you look at it, there are as many pull outs this time as any other Games.
All 368 athletes here are excited, and the fact that we are in Delhi is foremost in our minds.”