Commonwealth Games 2002
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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Melbourne seeks high turn-out
The decision to use incentives has yet to be made
The decision to use incentives has yet to be made

Melbourne officials may entice athletes with incentives to avoid a low attendance at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The Australian hosts are keen to avoid a repeat of Manchester, where just 3,863 competitors took part - far lower than the estimated 5,000-plus.

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More and more countries will produce better athletes by 2006
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Ron Walker
Chairman of 2006 organising committee

As a result of the poor turn-out, some sessions in the athletics and the aquatic events were cancelled or re-organised.

A lack of money in the poorer countries has been cited for the small entry-lists.

And that is one of the reasons for the introduction of a possible incentive scheme.

"We will be budgeting for 6,000 athletes and we expect that number to attend," said Steve Brooks, the Premier of Victoria.

"We will make the decision with the Commonwealth Games organising committee as to whether incentives are required."

Ron Walker, chairman of the 2006 organising committee, added: "More and more countries will produce better athletes by 2006 and this will reflect on the number that come to Melbourne."

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