Sports Minister MS Gill promised a spectacular Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 and sought to tap the controversy between Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairperson Suresh Kalmadi and Mike Fennell, President, Commonwealth Games Federation.
“We will give a good Games,” Gill said shortly after the impressive baton passing ceremony.
“The mood of the country and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is this — do what is necessary to give a good Games.”
After his arrival in London on Wednesday, Gill has been holding formal and informal consultation with Kalmadi and Fennell to remove any irritants.
Earlier, in an indication that he was putting the controversies behind him, Kalmadi had told Hindustan Times that, “The Games are more important”.
Gill used his London visit to also discuss with the Duke of Edinburgh the finer details of his “Playing Fields” project.
The project envisages creating, protecting and preserving playing fields for youths in the country. He also wrote to HRD minister Kapil Sibal egging him not to sanction any school if it does not have a playing field or a playing period.
The education system, he said, was hostile to sports. Gill heads the National Playing Fields Association of India, which was established in February 2009 to evolve a national policy on playing fields, play grounds, play pitches, parks and open spaces.
Meanwhile, CGF chief executive officer Mike Hooper said: “There has been some meetings but I wil be able to give you a clearer picture only later.”
Dream come true for sportspersons
Ace Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra's joy knew no bound after becoming the first baton-bearer of Thursday's Queen's Baton Relay for next year's Games.
“It is a matter of great honour to be the first runner in the historic relay. It is a dream come true,” he said.
“I have participated in three Olympics and it is a great honour to be part of the Delhi Commonwealth Games,” Bindra, who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, said.
Bindra handed over the baton to legendary middle-distance runner Sebastian Coe, who said, “It is a fabulous opportunity to showcase Delhi.”
India's only cricket World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev took the baton from Coe and said, “It is fantastic to represent the country.”
Tennis ace Sania Mirza was all smiles and said: “I am happy to be one of the few chosen for the Baton Relay.”