14 NOV 2003 General News 14 November 2003 – New Delhi, India

New Delhi to host 2010 Commonwealth Games

New Delhi, IndiaNew Delhi has been chosen to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games, becoming only the second Asian host in the Games' 80-year history.

"We are very, very happy," said Indian Olympic Association President and IAAF Council Member Suresh Kalmadi speaking to Reuters from the Commonwealth Games Federation's (CGF) congress in Jamaica after Thursday's vote.

The federation opted for New Delhi by an overwhelming 46-22 margin over its only rival, the Canadian city of Hamilton.

"Fifty percent of the Commonwealth stays in India. We are a billion-strong people and it can be regarded as a victory for the Commonwealth movement,” concluded Kalmadi, who was also one of the driving forces behind the recent Afro-Asian Games which took place in Hyderabad, India.

With a projected Games budget of $420 million, it will also be a major boost for the sprawling Indian capital of almost 14 million people.

New Delhi hosted the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 and
again in 1982 but lost its bid for 2006 to Doha, the capital of
the tiny Persian Gulf state of of Qatar, gaining just one vote
in addition to its own.

Agencies