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#388750 - 09/29/10 09:29 AM Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games
Marty Offline
Belizean Athletes To New Delhi

The Nineteenth Commonwealth Games officially opens on Sunday October third in New Dehli, India. The highly anticipated event which is staged every four years for former British colonies has been riddled with numerous logistical issues including bad weather, failing infrastructure, a dengue scare and withdrawal of athletes. But Belize isn't one of those countries pulling out. Our team comprising 9 athletes, 2 coaches and two officials is going boldly forward to Dehli and will stay there for the entire duration of the games, 15 days. Andrea Polanco met with them at the airport before they left:

Two of the female athletes travelling with the contingent to the 19th Commonwealth Games believe the competition will be strong but they are confident that they'll do well:

Kiana Martinez- Athlete

"I do know the competition is going to be a tighter competition than here in Central America because there are pro athletes who is going to be part of that commonwealth games and but that doesn't leaves me not believing in myself and doing the best that I could do."

Kay De Vaughn-Athlete

"Well I am just going out there and do my best, I am hoping for a PR personally and to see how far where I am when it comes to other athletes in the commonwealth."

The cycling team representing Belize is made up of proven talent. Among them are Gregory Lovell, Jairo Campos and Shalini Zabaneh who told us what the preparation was like for this big event.

Jairo Campos

"We have to try to see if we can bring home a medal for the country, because we were preparing hard and we were doing 25 miles mostly in the week and we have to try accomplish a time over 50 minutes for 25 miles to try bring in gold."

Andrea Polanco

"So you say that you were preparing hard; from since when this preparation start."

Jairo Campos

"Well our preparation start before the Albert Street classic; the criterion and then Arana, Greg Lovell, Brandon Cattouse and Byron Pope was training for this India trip because we expect great competition and well actually we will meet cyclist from tour de France and then we expect a great challenge over there."

Shalini Zabaneh

"Well a lot of hard work, to put in a lot of hours, the level of these games are so much higher than anything I will ever experience I think. All the professionals will be there so I had to put in a lot of hard work and I did my best to see what the outcome is."

Greg Lovell

"Well the preparation was very tire ding for me because most of the time it was raining and I try to do a lot of motor paste to get use to ride international and I did my last ride yesterday and it was good and the preparation would pay off. We don't have any strategy yet because in this game we are going against the world best. The world class athletes and it will be a very good experience for the other guys, I have been to this game 4 years ago in Australia and the competition is really high, I have race against guys that have race in Tour de France and it's a really high level of competition and we have to go there ready mentally and physically for this game."

And ready they are because they have set goals in this competition says Perry Gibson Coach of The National Cycling Team:

Perry Gibson- Coach- National Cycling Team

"One of the realities is that we will be up against big countries; Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, big first world countries and so basically our goal is to at least be better than all the English speaking Caribbean countries that will be there, that's the primary goal in terms of the individual time trial and for the road race its actually to get a finish. Belize has never completed the road race in these games."

Andrea Polanco

"So what was the preparation like?"

Perry Gibson- Coach- National Cycling Team

"The reality is that this national team has been travelling for the past probably 6 months. we have gone Panama to race in the Central American Games, we've gone to Puerto Rico to race in the Central American and Caribbean games and we have done extensive training at home as well. So the preparation has been very good I have to say."

Andrea Polanco

"So they will be travelling to New Delhi India. Do you think the terrain will pose any challenge to the cyclist?"

Perry Gibson- Coach- National Cycling Team

"As far as we are aware it is very flat course, so there won't be any mountains as we know and the challenge will be the heat. India is hotter than Belize so we are accustom to heat but I understand its going to be hotter."

Well that heat was far from the athletes minds because just minutes before they left the country they told us that the feeling was one of excitement and nerves:

Jairo Campos

"Excited because first time I am going so far and I know Belize is spending a lot for us and then they are also expecting a lot from us so we will try our best and see if we can bring down gold for the country."

Shalini Zabaneh

"If you are not nervous then you are not ready they say."

Kay De Vaughn

"I'm very excited, not nervous as yet but excited to be there and to go out there and compete."

The Games which will start on October 3rd and ends on October 14th will see the participation of seventy two countries. This year's competition will feature two hundred and sixty events in seventeen disciplines in which over six thousand athletes will partake. Kiana Martinez will be the flag bearer for country. The Belize contingent will return on October 17.

Channel 7

#389762 - 10/12/10 05:39 PM Re: Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games [Re: Marty]
Short Offline
The Prince of Wales and the President of India opens the Commonwealth Games

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil in her closing words before some 70,000 athletes, officials, invited guests, and spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main stadium of the Commonwealth Games, said “The Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi are now open.” “Let the Games begin.” The athletes and spectators responded with a thunderous sound that resounded throughout the entire stadium. It was indeed a spectacular moment for the nation of India and to all the participants of the XIX Commonwealth Games.

If there were any apprehensions concerning the readiness of Delhi to host the games that was quickly dashed aside when the countries started to arrive in the Khel Gram.

The first wave of some fifty buses left Khel Gram (the Commonwealth Games village) at 3:45 pm for the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for the official opening. The first wave was followed by some nine more waves of buses that carried some 6,700 athletes and officials to the stadium. At precisely 7:00 pm Indian Standard Time, the show got underway with the playing of the National Anthem of India. This was then followed by the parade of nations which was led by Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, and Belize and then followed by the other countries in alphabetical order. All the countries were well received by the thousands of spectators inside of the stadium and no doubt, when the host nation’s athletes entered the stadium it was all pandemonium.

At the end of the parade of nations, the final leg of the the Queen’s Baton entered the stadium to a thundering applause from the athletes and the spectators. The Queen’s Baton was carried up the stairs to the Royal Box, where His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, opened and read the Queen’s message to the youths and athletes of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Games Flag was then hoisted unto the flag pole signaling the beginning of the games.

One was not able to believe his own eyes as the entertainment segments showcased 5000 years of Indian history, using various dances, colours, and props. It was indeed an awesome Opening Ceremony for all 71 countries and territories that belong to the Commonwealth of Nations.

The finale was the trace of Indian history during the different centuries that was followed by some 25 minutes of fireworks that lighted up the Indian skyline.

Live and let live

#389764 - 10/12/10 05:40 PM Re: Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games [Re: Short]
Short Offline
Hon. John Saldivar meets with Belizean contingent at Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India

The Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of the Public Service, Governance Improvement, Elections and Boundaries, and Sports, visited with the Belizean Contingent at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. The Hon. Saldivar on Monday October 4 attended the meeting for the Commonwealth Sports Ministers that was held at the Taj Palace in New Delhi.

Minister Saldivar on Tuesday October 5 first met with the President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association Mr. Ned Pitts, Chef de Mission for Belize Patrick Henry, delegate for Athletics at the games Josephine Flowers, and the delegate for Cycling at the games Perry Gibson at the Ashok Hotel- The flag ship hotel of the games. Minister Saldivar was briefed on the well being of the Belizean athletes and officials at the games, by the Chef de Mission. He was fully brought up to date on the readiness of the village, which included the dining area, and the apartments, the venues and the overall security of the Belizean contingent.

In the afternoon, Minister Saldivar joined the Belizean Contingent for lunch at the main dining hall of Khel Gram. While at lunch with the Belizean athletes and officials, the Gambian Minister of Sports also took the opportunity of paying a visit to our Minister of Sports, a proud moment for the entire Belizean contingent at the games.

Minister Saldivar was then taken to Tower 32, the home of the Belizean Contingent at the games. At the Belize office for the games, the Minister gave an inspirational talk to the athletes and officials and wished them the best for the games.

The Minister was then invited to spend the entire afternoon with the team, which he graciously accepted and did. The team was so overwhelmed with the visit of our Minister of Sports to Khel Gram.

At 10:00 pm Indian Standard Time, the Minister was taken to the Indira Gandhi International Airport by the Chef de Mission Patrick Henry and the Athletics Delegate Ms. Josephine Flowers for his journey back home to Belize.

Live and let live

#389893 - 10/14/10 08:48 AM Re: Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Athletes in New Delhi doing their best in 2010 Commonwealth Games

Thousands of miles away in New Delhi, India, a contingent of Belizeans are competing against top athletes in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Controversy shrouded the games when they started because the facilities were either not up to par or had not been completed. But the games are now well underway and News Five got an update on the performance of our local cyclists and runners. The results are somewhat bittersweet. According to the National Olympic Committee, we’re bringing home the medals but the performance of the athletes is extremely encouraging. In fact, Belize has topped all other Caribbean countries in the individual time trials. Public Relations Officer for the National Olympic Committee gave us more details.

Owen Sonny Meighan, Public Relations Officer, National Olympic Committee

“Two riders that finished the race Greg Lovell and Edgar Arana did very well. Greg finished twenty-sixth and Mr. Arana finished forty-sixth. We placed twelfth out of thirty-three countries that took part in that road race.”

Delahnie Bain

“And this is the first time that we have riders actually completing the race?”

Owen Sonny Meighan

Owen Sonny Meighan

“Completing the course yes, which is a plus for us. It shows that our riders are—we’re not winning medals yet but we’re getting better and better every time.”

Delahnie Bain

“We also had some riders participating in the time trials. Could you tell us about that?”

Owen Sonny Meighan

“Yes, our best female raider, our number one female rider, Shalini Zabaneh, took part in the time trials and she did well but that’s a very competitive individual race; even more so than the road races. Shalini finished eighteenth in the time trials and she did very good time. Her time was the best she ever done and the competition was stiff, very stiff.”

Delahnie Bain

“And we had three male riders as well.”

Owen Sonny Meighan

“Yes, we had Byron Pope, we had Mr. [Edgar] Arana and Mr. [Jairo] Campos. They all took part in the time trials. Overall they did well.”

Pope, Arana and Campos placed twenty-fifth, thirty-eighth and forty-fifth respectively. In the female time trials, Belize placed tenth of fourteen countries and for the males we were fifteenth out of twenty-nine.

Channel 7

#389894 - 10/14/10 08:48 AM Re: Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

…However, two athletes injured during games

There was also some bad news about the females who competed in athletics. Meighan told News Five that two of the three runners were injured and had to drop out of the competitions while the third didn’t qualify to move ahead.

Owen Sonny Meighan, Public Relations Officer, National Olympic Committee

Owen Sonny Meighan

“Kina [Martinez], she is our sprinter. She met some stiff competition because Australia and England and those countries are known for great sprinters. She ran in her heat but only the first five in the heat go on to the second round. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the second round. Kay-Dee [Vaughn], our long jumper she was injured three months ago, but her injury was healing very well so we thought she could still go to compete, which she did. But unfortunately, she got hurt. She got hurt and she still tried to jump but she fouled all her three jumps so she didn’t move on to the second round, the finals. Then we had in heptathlon, a young lady who resides in England and she also was injured. She tried to recuperate the best she could and the coaches said she could still compete. She did four out of her ten events she should have taken part in and the fifth one she really couldn’t go anymore. After the shot put she just couldn’t go anymore. She was really badly hurt but she really tried.”

That young lady is Kathy Sealy, a Belizean living in England. And while she did not complete the event, she did set a national record for the hundred meter hurdles and broke her personal record in the high jump.

Channel 5


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