Countdown Begins For CWG 2018
The 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games is set to kick-off in Gold Coast, with the opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium in Queensland, Australia on Wednesday, 4 April scheduled for 3pm IST. Star shuttler and Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu will lead the Indian contingent as the flag-bearer.
A total of 227 athletes will represent India at the quadrennial games, scheduled to take place from 4 April-15 April.
PM Narendra Modi on 4 April extended his best wishes to the Indian contingent for the Gold Coast CWG.
All the best to the athletes representing India at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games! Our sportspersons have worked tremendously hard and the Games will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talent. Every Indian is cheering for our contingent. #GC2018 @GC2018— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 4, 2018
India's Hockey Men
Senior Indian hockey players PR Sreejesh and SV Sunil were among the first to share photos from the CWG village.
The Indian hockey team start their CWG campaign with a match against Pakistan on 7 April, followed by Pool B games against Wales, Malaysia and England.
Here’s what the senior players in the squad had to say before leaving for the quadrennial games:
Crowds Start Arriving
Spectators are filing into the Carrara stadium as we approach the opening ceremony, scheduled to kick off at 3:15pm IST.
The opening ceremony for the 2018 CWG is now underway.
Back to The Roots
The opening ceremony features celebrations of the laid-back beach lifestyle synonymous with the Gold Coast, and Australian indigenous culture.
The ceremony begins with a musical rendition of popular Australian song My Island Home by hip-hop artist Mau Power, William Barton on digeridoo and Christine Anu.
The Royals Are Here
Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla have now arrived to officially open the competition on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.
Dignitaries on stage, the entire arena sings the Australian national anthem.
Scotland Start The Proceedings
The Parade of Nations begins with the contingent from Glasgow, the host country from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Semenya Leads South African Contingent
History being made in Gold Coast, Castor Semenya is leading the South African contingent at the opening ceremony. The Olympic 800 meter gold-medallist has seen her career plagued by controversy ever since being subjected to a gender test at the 2009 World Championships. Since then though, the IAAF has ruled that women with higher testosterone level would be allowed to compete after using hormone therapy.
In Gold Coast, Semenya is going for a rare double, competing in the 800 meter and 1500 meter events.
Smiling Sindhu Leads Indian Contingent
Bearing the flag, star shuttler and Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu led the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony. The top seed in the women's singles event, the 22-year-old will begin her quest for the gold in the second round against Falkland Islands' Zoe Morris.
The Indians ditched tradition for comfort in the ceremony, marching out in blazers and trousers rather than the conventional sarees and bandhgalas.
Pakistan, Canada, Malaysia March in
Mark Knowles Leads Hosts Australia
The Australian men’s hockey team captain Mark Knowles led the host contingent with the flag at the CWG opening ceremony.
The veteran Kookaburra has won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and will retire immediately after the Gold Coast event.
'Rain or Sun, Team India is One!'
Indian shooter Gagan Narang, scheduled to participate in the 50m Rifle Prone event, tweeted a video of the Indian flag during the Indian ceremony.
Traditional Smoking Ceremony
With all the participating contingents present in the stadium, the traditional smoking ceremony was performed, recognising and respecting indigenous people and rights across Australia and the Commonwealth.
CWG Flag Hoisting
The Commonwealth Games Federation flag was brought in and raised, with John Farnham’s classic You're the Voice playing in the background.
Karen Murphy, Lisa Alexander and Desmond Johnston take the oath on behalf of the athletes, coaches and technical officials at Gold Coast CWG.
Our #Champion @Pvsindhu1 is #AllSet to lead #TeamIndia in the 'Parade of the Nations' at the grand #OpeningCeremony of the @GC2018 #CommonwealthGames— IOA - Team India (@ioaindia) April 4, 2018
Voice your support and wish us luck in our biggest #GoldQuest at the #GC2018 in #GoldCoast ! pic.twitter.com/E7Q2h3qAS2
Final Leg of QBR
The baton enters the arena and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Susie O'Neill carries it to cyclist Brad McGee. Loud applause follows the handing-over of the baton as wheelchair paralympian Kurt Fearnley takes over.
Finally, 2011 and 2017 World champion and 2012 Olympic champion in the 100 metres hurdles Sally Pearson is the final athlete to carry the baton over to the podium with the dignitaries.
'Declare The Games Open'
Prince Charles reads the Queen’s message before officially declaring the Games open.
“On Commonwealth Day last year I placed this message into the impressive baton. Over the past 388 days, on its journey from Buckingham Palace to the Gold Coast, the baton relay has passed through every nation and territory of the Commonwealth. I have no doubt that the baton and its carriers have been warmly welcomed by the many thousands of people who have lined the route. The ancient stories told by the Indigenous people of Australia remind us that even though we may be half a world away, we are all connected.
Over the years these friendly Games have shown the potential of the Commonwealth to connect people of different backgrounds and nationalities. In this spirit of cooperation and togetherness and enduring friendships found and forged. As you come together at the start of these Games, I continue to be inspired by the courage, enthusiasm and dedication of all those taking part. I send my warm wishes to every competing individual and team and to all those who have helped to bring about the first Commonwealth Games in this very special part of Australia. The Gold Coast. Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it now gives me the greatest pleasure, to declare the XXI Commonwealth Games open.”
Ceremony Draws to Close
As the opening ceremony heads towards a close, the Migaloo – the world's first documented all-white humpback whale and a popular sight off Australia's east coast – enters the stadium.
Finally, Australian singer and songwriter Ruel takes stage to perform Golden Years.
With helicopter shots of the colourfully lit and cheerful Carrara Stadium, the opening ceremony comes to a close, paving the way for 11 days of constant sporting action from more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations.
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