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Victorian PM assures support for CWG

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister of Victoria, Steve Bracks, has promised to share the experience and provide guidance for Delhi in its attempt to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the Capital.

In a press conference at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday, Mr. Bracks said Melbourne was fully ready to host the Commonwealth Games next March and it would be much bigger than the Olympic Games hosted in 1956.

"We will do everything possible to help Delhi in its preparation and organisation of the Commonwealth Games in 2010. We will be happy to share all knowledge. You have excellent leadership and we met several India government representatives to have long-term partnership,'' said Mr. Bracks.

The President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, who returned with his delegation from a recent visit to Melbourne, said he was feeling nervous for the first time after having successfully organised many meets.

"The government is fully backing the Organising Committee,'' Mr. Kalmadi said. Australia had been requested to agree to joint training and competition, deputation of coaches to India for games like netball, rugby, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming etc., apart from exchange of sports scientists.

Mr. Kalmadi said arrangements had been made for about 1000 artistes to present India's rich culture in a colourful fashion during the closing ceremony of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

"We have requested the services of Cathy Freeman for the `Peace baton relay' here on September 13. We have already confirmed the availability of Lord Sebastian Coe,'' Mr. Kalmadi said.

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