It was a champagne moment, experiencing the surge of emotion when India played their heart out against Pakistan on the opening day in the Hero Honda FIH World Cup.
I was prepared for it, having felt a sense of elation at the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges a day earlier while declaring the Commonwealth Shooting Championships closed after India’s successful outing.
The outpouring of emotion during India’s victory was wonderful to experience at the National Stadium. The support the side got even when they lost to Australia was hard to believe. I am confident that we shall get such spontaneous support for the Commonwealth Games from the residents of Delhi and visitors.
In the coming weeks, archery and boxing competitions will begin at the Yamuna Sports Complex and Talkatora Indoor Stadium. There are other events lined up as well at each of the Games venues so that the venue owners and Organising Committee can make changes that are necessary. The lessons from the test events will contribute towards our hosting the best Commonwealth Games.
A word about security at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships and FIH World Cup will not be out of place. You will agree that it is better to err on the side of caution. Coming so close after the blast in Pune, it was important for the Delhi Police to enhance its arrangements so that the teams felt safe and secure.
We believe the teams are happy and the spectators are not complaining either. However, we need to sit down with the Delhi Police and update them on sports protocol so that the stakeholders — sportspersons, technical officials running the events and those providing other support to the conduct of the events — can deliver a high quality effort.
This is necessary so that the paying spectators can enjoy a wholesome experience. We are focused on drawing up sports protocol plans that will ensure that the fans take home pleasurable experiences from the Commonwealth Games. We are confident that the goosebumps felt during the hockey matches will be omnipresent during the biggest sporting show hosted by India.