Martial artists mark great start to Games closure | india | Hindustan Times
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Martial artists mark great start to Games closure

A dazzling display of martial arts from the far corners of India kicked off the closing ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on Thursday, promising a spectacle to behold for the millions watching all over the world. For CWG updates follow us on twitter

india Updated: Oct 14, 2010 20:21 IST

A dazzling display of martial arts from the far corners of India kicked off the closing ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on Thursday, promising a spectacle to behold for the millions watching all over the world.

Among the thousands who had packed into the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which was also the venue for the spectacular on Oct 3 opening ceremony, was Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the chief guest. Accompanying him were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The crowds roared, the lights danced, and into a stage swathed in red light came over 500 martial artists carrying swords, sticks and other traditional weapons to mark "Agni", the glory of sports.

The closing ceremony capped 12 days of sporting glory that saw Australia take home the biggest haul of medals at 177, including 74 gold. For the first time in the history of the Games, India took the second slot with a rich haul of 101 medals, including 38 gold.

England ended up with 143 medals, including 37 gold.

The gala was also a tribute to the 6,700 athletes of the 71 participating teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, 10 from Europe and 13 from Oceania.