BBC Sport Commonwealth Games 2010

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Commonwealth Games opening ceremony as it happened

  1. 14:05 Commentary  

    Let the Games begin.

  2. 14:10 Commentary  

    Yep, after one of the most fraught, frantic and frustrating build-ups to any sporting competition in recent memory, the 2010 Commonwealth Games is about to officially get under way in the Indian city of Delhi. At last. At long last.

  3. 14:12 Commentary  

    I don't think you need me to tell you how difficult it has been just to get to this stage. A competition that for so long seemed as though it would never reach the starting line gets out of the blocks at 1430 BST (1900 local time) with what we are told will be a "spectacular" opening ceremony at the 60,000-capacity Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

  4. BBC Radio 5 live's Karen Pickering
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Karen Pickering  
  5. 14:17 Commentary  

    There's something missing, and I'm not talking about the spate world-class athletes who have pulled out. I mean you. Remember the deal? Sure you do. Texts go to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @Stevo_football (Commonwealth Games didn't fit), and there's a 606 page set up for you to get involved in as well.

  6. BBC World Service's Chris Mitchell
    Contributor BBC World Service's Chris Mitchell  

    "On our way to the posh Defence Colony Market where we are told celebrations are taking place. The streets are eerily quiet, for Dehli that is - this could be the quickest cab ride of the week."

  7. 14:21 Commentary  

    Ooh, by the way, could you please, please, please, put 'DELHI' at the start of any texts you send my way? Thanks so much in advance. It's just that apparently there's some Ryder Cup golf and a little bit of Premier League football going on as well today, so it might be best to try to avoid confusion where possible.

  8. BBC Sport's Denise Lewis
    Contributor BBC Sport's Denise Lewis  

    "Athletes have to make decisions for themselves. Phillips Idowu decided he didn't want to come and that's totally up to him. Athletes like to compete and they ought to compete, I personally tried to whenever I could. There is a worry you might regret it later."

  9. BBC News' Huw Edwards
    Contributor BBC News' Huw Edwards  

    "Let's start with the positives - you cannot fault the welcome. But they've had dreadful problems with security outside. The scenes are a bit shambolic and chaotic, but I think they will put on a good show tonight and people will enjoy it."

  10. 14:28 Commentary  

    So, the plan is this: the opening ceremony is set to start at 1430 BST, and is expected to last for two-and-a-half hours - though we know these things can be subject to change, don't we? Prince Charles will be there, along with the Indian president and prime minister, and all 71 competing nations will be presented to the crowd. A host of BBC people will be keeping us right up to date with the very latest chat.

  11. BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
    Contributor BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar  

    On Twitter: "Oh no! Vuvuzela spotted in crowd! Spies tell me 50 thousand imported here, 10 thousand in circulation. Honk honk."

  12. 14:30 Commentary  

    Dead on time, the opening ceremony for the 2010 Commonwealth Games gets under way in Delhi. You know, seems like only a few days ago I was in Johannesburg for the start of the World Cup. Ooh look, here's the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

  13. 14:34 Commentary  

    It's dignitary o'clock at the moment - the Indian president Pratibha Patil and prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh join Charles and Camilla in the Royal Box, and then we hear the Indian national anthem. The lights are down and the real action's about to start. It's fireworks time.

  14. Twitter  

    From shivamLM: "Being an Indian and despite all the behind the scenes nonsense, today is a proud day to be Indian. Hope the ceiling is fine."

  15. 14:40 Commentary  

    What can I tell you? There are Nagada drummers, and lots of them, all from tribes in different parts of India. Apparently there will be about 9,000 people taking part in this opening ceremony. The aerostat is rising, too. Tell me someone who doesn't love an aerostat?

  16. 14:44 Commentary  

    It's colourful, it's vibrant, it's engaging - and now there's a seven-year child genius crashing away on a couple of drums. According to my notes, Keshav, from Auroville in Puducherry, started playing on the tablas in perfect ryhthm when he was only two. Blimey.

  17. 606  

    From vishal_India: "Try to see the larger picture, the games will cross a threshold today, it is the beginning of a new chapter."

  18. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce  

    On Twitter: "Drumming. Always the drumming. Plus lots of smiling kids. It's like the final few scenes of Indiana Jones."

  19. 14:50 Commentary  

    Prince Charles and his missus are deep in discussion in the posh seats, Camilla was laughing hysterically a few moments ago. After a short screen break, which was pretty much an advert for India (never been, very, very keen to go soon), it's time for the next part of the ceremony.

  20. BBC World Service's Mukesh Sharma
    Contributor BBC World Service's Mukesh Sharma  

    On Twitter: "'Swagatam' - welcome song by Delhi's school children."

  21. 14:55 Commentary  

    Oh yes. What seems like millions of children move into centre stage to reveal the colours of the national flag. FYI, India is highlighted as a strong power, one nation, and one spirit.

  22. 14:56 Commentary  

    Here come the athletes. There are a little over 4,000 taking part in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

  23. 14:59 Commentary  

    The Australians are first out, led by a netball player. They're first because they hosted the Games in 2006 when it was in Melbourne. From now on it will be alphabetical, apart from India, who will be the last team to enter the stadium. Unlike in previous Games, when teams entered grouped by continent/region.

  24. BBC World Service's Chris Mitchell
    Contributor BBC World Service's Chris Mitchell  

    "Giant screens in all the bars here too but a quick head count - eight people watching here. No drums. No hysterics. Maybe I am in the wrong bar - time to move on."

  25. 15:05 Commentary  

    The British Virgin Islands are coming out, with squash player Joseph Chapman carrying their flag. The entry of all the athletes is expected to take about 50 of your Indian minutes. And now it's Cameroon!

  26. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce  

    On Twitter: "Extraordinarily hot in the Nehru Stadium. Crowd went nuts every time a giant Indian flag was formed by flailing dancers. Decent atmos."

  27. 15:10 Commentary  

    ENGLAND ARE HERE!! The English are led out by badminton legend Nathan Robertson, who is from the wonderful city of Nottingham. You know, they seem awfully happy to be there, even though they are wearing quite strange red waitcoats on top of white overalls. That reminds me, when does the judo start (it doesn't)?

  28. BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
    Contributor BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar  

    On Twitter: "England in costumes reflecting Indian dress, with red 'nehru' style waistcoats over white collarless tops and white trousers."

  29. 606  

    From delhicutes: "CWG opens with a spectacular and awesome show. It is overwhelming. To see different cultures within India come together to give a jaw-dropping cultural extravaganza and showing true integration is truly emotional. And after all the negetive press, it really is a big feat. I hope the international and Indian press do some justice and highlight all the good aspects of the games and have more to say than just security issues or dirty toilets."

  30. 15:19 Commentary  

    We've had a Usain Bolt-less Jamaica, and the latest to come out at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in front of the 60,000 crowd are Malawi. That probably means we are about halfway through the athletes bit of the opening ceremony.

  31. 15:22 Commentary  

    By they way, have you been bored of the gloom and doom merchants taking over this particular sporting event? Yeah, you’re probably not the only one. In a bid to lift the entire Commonwealth off the floor, ex-Scotland rugby international John Beattie, in Delhi for the Games, has written one of the great uplifting blogs of modern times. “Do you know what? India is the perfect location for the Commonwealth Games,” he begins. It gets better, Beattie even calling himself a “shambles” at one point. Top, top work.

  32. BBC Radio 5 live's Karen Pickering
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Karen Pickering  

    On Twitter: "The Monserrat men are wearing bow ties - good effort boys!"

  33. Twitter  

    From Rumeana: "Enjoying the Delhi ceremony and trying not to get nostalgic about times as volunteer at Manchester 2002. Tabla kid was cute."

  34. 15:31 Commentary  

    HERE COME NORTHERN IRELAND!! Their flag-bearer is wrestler Mark Montgomery, who competed in judo in 2002 and 2006. He says this is the proudest moment of his sporting career. Golden days.

  35. 15:34 Commentary  

    Rwanda are the next country out, the African nation making its Games debut after being admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations in November 2009.

  36. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce  

    On Twitter: "Huge cheers for Pakistan. Who would have bet on that? Oh, don't be facetious. Feel the Friendly Games love."

  37. 15:36 Commentary  

    Here come the kilts - IT'S SCOTLAND!! The Scots are led out by one of Great Britain's top cyclists Ross Edgar, a four-time medal winner. Great ovation.

  38. SMS  

    From Jennie, London: "Those poor drummers must be shattered! Great scenes though, swapping between this and Ryder Cup. Perfect Sunday!"

  39. 15:40 Commentary  

    'What’s the point of the Commonwealth Games?', you might be surprised to read me write. Well it’s not really about me, it’s about a blog written by BBC Sports Editor David Bond. "On a purely sporting level, it does lack appeal. That is inescapable," says Bond, before adding: "They may offer a refreshing antidote to the overly commercial world of other events." I have a question: which side are you on?

  40. BBC Radio 5 live's Karen Pickering
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Karen Pickering  

    On Twitter: "Swimmer Cameron van de Burgh proudly leads out South Africa. Watch your ears, they've all got vuvuzelas!!"

  41. 15:46 Commentary  

    Oh, so you want a form guide for every single sport in the Games, do you? Crikey, that's a challenge. Nevertheless, you set them, we deliver. That's how these things work. Fill your boots - you know the action gets underway in a day's time, don't you?

  42. 15:49 Commentary  

    Hey, there's plenty of time for you to get in touch, you know. Hit me with a text (put 'DELHI' before your message) on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @Stevo_football and there's a 606 page too. Happy days.

  43. 15:49 Commentary  

    And THAT'S WALES!! The Welsh are led out in Delhi by gold medal-winning swimmer David Davies.

  44. 15:50 Commentary  

    And here come the hosts India, to an extraordinary ovation from most of the 60,000-odd inside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi. How they must have thought at times this moment would never come. Everyone's on their feet.

  45. Twitter  

    From awesomashwin: "Amazingly colourful cremony. Better than BEIJING. No-one expected it to be so vibrant. INDIA is the place to be."

  46. 15:56 Commentary  

    Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, looks on from his comfy seat but he's not looking too enamoured with proceedings, it must be said. India have been heavily tipped to make a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

  47. 15:57 Commentary  

    Now then, on to the next stage of proceedings, which sounds a bit like Speech Day at school.

  48. 16:00 Commentary  

    The man talking at the moment is Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the organising committee. His introduction lasts about five minutes. He's getting a few boos from the locals, too.

  49. 16:03 Commentary Suresh Kalmadi:  

    "India is ready to host the Commonwealth Games. We have the second fastest-growing economy in the world. There have been delays and challenges but we have risen to the challenges and we can do it. Despite the adverse publicity, all the Commonwealth nations have stood by India. This Games will be the largest in history."

  50. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce  

    On Twitter: "Whistles + boos when Suresh Kalmadi, head of organising committee, gets up to speak. Turns to massive cheers when he says, 'India is ready'."

  51. 16:05 Commentary Suresh Kalmadi:  

    "India's big moment is finally here. Join in."

  52. 16:07 Commentary  

    Here's the next man up, it's Mike Fennell, the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation. Tell you what, these intros are speeches all in their own right.

  53. 16:10 Commentary Mike Fennell:  

    "The Delhi 2010 Organising Committee has worked tirelessly for many years to get these Games to this stage and they have been greatly supported by the government. I must also congratulate the volunteers for giving their skills and time to help the success of the Games. To the people of Delhi: you have welcomed us with your traditional warmth and hospitality. The athletes have been touched by your kindness and enthusiasm for being good hosts."

  54. 16:12 Commentary  

    Now comes the prime minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh. I reckon Prince Charles might just be up next, you know. Call it instinct.

  55. 16:14 Commentary Dr Manmohan Singh:  

    "It is a proud moment for all of our countrymen. I invite all of our guests, from every corner of the world, to enjoy our hospitality, enjoy the Games and enjoy the incredible sights and sounds of India."

  56. Twitter  

    From prsachde: "It's an emotional moment for every Indian. Delays to achieve perfection - worth it :)"

  57. 16:16 Commentary  

    And here comes the Commonwealth Games baton. That means the Games are very close to being officially started.

  58. 16:19 Commentary  

    The Queens Baton is passed to Prince Charles, and the next in line to the throne is about to do his stuff in Delhi.

  59. 16:20 Commentary Prince Charles:  

    "My wife and I are pleased to be able to join you here in Delhi, where I have been asked by Her Majesty the Queen to be here at the start of the 19th Commonwealth Games."

  60. 16:22 Commentary Prince Charles:  

    "It is fitting that these Games are being held in India. I firmly believe that when countries can compete in sports together like this, it helps all nations to search together for peace throughout the world."

  61. 16:23 Commentary Prince Charles:  

    "To everyone, I send my very best wishes for what I hope will be the experience of a lifetime. I have much pleasure in declaring the 19th Commonwealth Games open."

  62. 16:24 Commentary  

    Here comes the president of India, Pratibha Patil. The Games, by the way, are already open. Happy days.

  63. 16:27 Commentary President Pratibha Patil:  

    "We wish the athletes the very best in their dedicated pursuit of excellence. I am sure everyone will cherish this games. To my fellow Indians, let's showcase our legendary hospitality while we celebrate sport in our country."

  64. 16:28 Commentary President Pratibha Patil:  

    "The Games are now open. Let the Games begin."

  65. 16:30 Commentary  

    I'm a bit confused as to whether Prince Charles or President Pretibha Patil actually just opened the 19th Commonwealth Games, but there's no doubt whatsoever that that was the headline event. The opening ceremony hasn't finished yet, though, so don't even think about going anywhere else.

  66. 16:34 Commentary  

    Just need to flag something up quickly, ahem. Er, the crucial flags are being marched around the stadium , with the Australian flag (2006 hosts), Indian flag (2010 hosts) and Scottish flag (2014 hosts) going to one end of the stadium and the Commonwealth Games Federation flag being raised at the other end of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

  67. SMS  

    From Anon: "On the train from Kings X to Newcastle. Following the commentary online. Well done India on pulling it together. Call it Indian timing, Indian planning, whatever - it has worked and it looks fun! Synergy at its best."

  68. 16:40 Commentary  

    Now then, this'll take some explaining. Here beginneth a five-part cultural segment in the opening ceremony, with the first one the Tree of Knowledge, which is all about the importance of education and the role of the teacher.

  69. BBC Sport's Martin Gough
    Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Gough  

    On Twitter: "Only businesses open in Delhi are pharmacies and "sweet shop" cafes. I'm just back from Bangali Sweet House - mile or so from Connaught Place."

  70. 16:44 Commentary  

    Also included in this Tree of Knowledge is a reflection of the six Indian seasons - spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, late autumn and winter. Pretty sure I had all of those in Kilburn yesterday.

  71. BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
    Contributor BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar  

    On Twitter: "Costume design in this section is stunning. Real Indian glamour."

  72. BBC World Service's Chris Mitchell
    Contributor BBC World Service's Chris Mitchell  

    "There really was a massive cheer from the crowd when India came out earlier. Mainly young kids watching the big screen. All telling me they’re proud. All the stray dogs are fast asleep."

  73. 16:53 Commentary  

    Now then - the next stage of this cultural journey Delhi 2010 is taking us on centres around yoga, focusing on the concepts and energies of the meditative practice. It's an awful lot more relaxing, that's for sure. Stay in the room.

  74. 16:57 Commentary  

    But there are no stars at these Games, I hear you bemoan. Pull the other one. What about the heroic Rebecca Adlington, winner of two stunning gold medals in Beijing two years ago? She’s going for four golds in Delhi, having failed to qualify in 2006 in Melbourne. "It’s always good to get a chance to beat the Aussies," says our Becky - music to any British sports fan's ears. Adlington gets under way on Monday, so be sure to cheer her on.

  75. BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
    Contributor BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar  

    On Twitter: "Extraordinarily bendy yoga-ists now centre stage. That's gotta hurt."

  76. 17:03 Commentary  

    An enormous, neon buddha appears out of nowhere in the middle of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and we're now under way in the third part of our cultural segment, which is symbolising a Great Indian Journey. It starts with the dawn of a day, before people form a human train and then the train breaks up into "chaos", becoming a human bazaar and showing scenes of everyday life.

  77. SMS  

    From Anon: "Oh gosh, this section is absolutely stunning, the music is so surreal - perfect coordination between dancers, 1,000-year-old culture being showcased in a beautiful modern setting. Which other country can do this?! India is amazing!"

  78. BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
    Contributor BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar  

    On Twitter: "Train trundles in. Impressive staging, more clever ideas, Lord knows what the budget was, but India is showing off now. Fair enough."

  79. 17:10 Commentary  

    It's definitely building up to the end of the opening ceremony now, there's some intense dancing and singing going on all around the stadium - some of the colours are electric. India most certainly have not held back on this one.

  80. BBC News' Huw Edwards
    Contributor BBC News' Huw Edwards  

    "You have to salute the ambition here, which is every bit the same as that shown in Beijing two years ago. Yesterday was the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India, and the next bit is to celebrate him."

  81. 17:15 Commentary  

    So, the Gandhi section focuses on Peace, Unity and Celebration. An image of Gandhi is drawn into sand in the middle of the stadium and the aim of this part is to pass on Gandhi's message, particularly looking at unity and unifying the different religions.

  82. Twitter  

    From vishnu_db9: "GORGEOUS, ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Proud moment for us, after all the media negativity, not quite bad, eh?"

  83. BBC World Service's Russell Fuller
    Contributor BBC World Service's Russell Fuller  

    On Twitter: "Listening to the Chelsea game and an Indian flautist, while watching folk dancing and the Ryder Cup scores. Who says men can't multi-task?"

  84. 17:23 Commentary  

    The last part was a segment on celebration, with song and dance and fireworks to mark the end of a blinding look at Delhi from a cultural perspective. And now comes the legendary figure of AR Rahman to wrap us up. If he's as sharp as his suit, this will be good.

  85. 17:25 Commentary  

    AR Rahman, of course, has been popularly dubbed the 'Mozart of Madras'. He has won 14 Filmfare Awards, four National Film Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, two Grammy Awards, two Academy Awards and an Oscar, according to my profile of the great man. He performs the theme song for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, called 'Jiyo, Utho, Bado, Jeeto' - 'Live, Rise, March, Win'.

  86. 17:27 Commentary  

    And here's one we all know - 'Jai ho', a song made famous by the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Cracking way to finish a brilliant opening ceremony.

  87. BBC Sport's Steve Cram
    Contributor BBC Sport's Steve Cram  

    "This has been a very good start to the Commonwealth Games from India. It's has over-run a little, but that's only because of all the athletes coming into the stadium - that always takes a bit longer than expected."

  88. 17:30 Commentary  

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes proceedings for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games from Delhi. That was borderline magical. Convinced? You will be.

  89. 606  

    From RKW - Bred Pole: "Well done for a cracking opening ceremony. Hopefully the games will live up to that, and not all the negative media talk."

  90. SMS  

    From Anon: "India pulled off an extravaganza. India blended life, morals, elegance, values, its beauty and its energy together superbly. I want to visit India. It’s booming and blooming on all accounts. We’ve got to be taking notes. Fair enough, we’re on schedule, but we have to TOP this whilst going through spending cuts! We have to do better then some funky logo."

  91. Twitter  

    From bluemoon008: "A good break from regular Bollywood bandwagon! Good representation from around India."

  92. 17:45 Commentary  

    A breathtaking start to the Commonwealth Games, then - I don't think anyone dared hope it would go that well. The Games are officially open, and Chris Whyatt will be on the live text on Monday when the sporting action begins for real. Hope you had fun; hope there's lots more to come. See you soon.



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see also
Commonwealth Games begin in Delhi
03 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games photos
03 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Grand ceremony opens Delhi Games
03 Oct 10 |  South Asia
UKA concern over Games absentees
02 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Swimmer Davies carries Wales flag
02 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Warnings not heeded - Games chief
01 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
England athletes move to village
27 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
'No row' over Delhi Games opening
18 Oct 10 |  South Asia


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