India begins medal chase after CWG opening ceremony

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 04, 2010 06:40 hrs

After Sunday's gala opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Indian swimmer Arti Bajarang Ghorpade hopes to nail her country's first medal on Monday in the Commonwealth Games women's 200m freestyle.

Ghorpade, 19, won the first heat beating two other swimmers in 2:12.20, the leading women in the three other heats were ahead of her time in the four-length event.

It has been reported that eight gold medals are up for grabs on the first day of the sporting extravaganza today.

Five of the medals are in swimming, two in weightlifting and one in gymnastics.

The first gold medal will be decided in the 48kg category of women's weightlifting event, which is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Sandhya Rani Devi Atom and Ngangbam Soniya Chanu will represent India in the event.

The second gold medal will be decided in the 56kg category in the men's event to be held at 6: 30 p.m. Sukhen Dey and Srinivasa Rao Valluri will represent India in the event.

Out of the five gold medals in swimming, two are on offer in women's category - 200 metres Freestyle and 200 metres Individual Medley.

The remaining three gold medals will come from 400 metres Freestyle Men Finals, 200 metres Butterfly Men Finals and 4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay for men.

The last gold medal on the first day of the 2010 Games will be awarded in gymnastics in Team Competition.

Of the three events, Indian eyes will be on weightlifting as it has been one of the biggest contributors in the medal tally for the country in the past few Games.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Prince Charles, the representative of the Queen, inaugurated the opening ceremony of the 2010 Games on Sunday in the presence of a 60,000 packed spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The games commenced with President Patil's words: "Let the Games begin."

Prior to the formal announcement, Prince Charles received the Queen's Baton at the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium.

Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar handed over the Baton to Prince Charles, who then went on to read out the Queen's message.

Prince Charles and President Patil addressed the people present on the occasion, before making the formal announcement of the 2010 Games.

To announce the beginning of the Games, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, said: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I have much pleasure in declaring the nineteenth Commonwealth Games open."

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was also present on the occasion along with his wife Gursharan Kaur.

Giving a brief speech on the occasion, Dr Manmohan Singh said: "From all our countrymen, I convey my warm greetings to each member of this august gathering of Commonwealth sporting fraternity.

"I invite all our guests who have come from every corner of the world to enjoy our hospitality, to enjoy games, to enjoy the incredible sites and sounds of India. Millions of people are waiting eagerly to watch this great sporting spectacle unfold," he added.

The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games was marked by a cultural extravaganza, dance, music and fireworks.

It was a magnificent opening that offered a glimpse of India's great heritage and tradition through a light, music and dance show, which led to the opening of the 11-day sporting extravaganza. (ANI)

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