India opens doors to the world with Games opening


London : With a “dazzling, colourful and high-octane” opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games, India has opened its doors to the world, the British media said, comparing the event with the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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The opener at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Sunday night, which “was part Bollywood, part cultural extravaganza, thrilled” the over 50,000 spectators as well as athletes and officials from 71 participating nations and territories, The Daily Telegraph said.

“It even managed to start on time, to the very second, proving there are some deadlines that Games organisers are capable of meeting,” it noted.

A “spectacular night of dance, music and pyrotechnics” rounded off by a performance of Oscar-winning Bollywood singer-composer A.R. Rahman” was a “truly lavish production that set a new benchmark for Commonwealth Games opening ceremonies just as Beijing took the Olympic curtain-raiser to new heights two years ago”, the Telegraph said.

“India has arrived,” said the headline of The Guardian, echoing the words of the Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

“Only days ago, there were question marks over security, crucial timing equipment and the apparently sub-standard 150-million-pound athletes’ village,” the paper said.

It said concerns of recent weeks were forgotten as the dazzling event launched the Games amid an atmosphere of national pride and celebrations.

“The lights were so bright, the effect was literally dazzling. As the Commonwealth Games opened in Delhi, drummers drummed, huge puppets danced, and light sabres in the shape of sitars reached into the sky,” wrote The Independent.

The Daily Mail said: “Commonwealth Games kick off in style with stunning opening ceremony… but the real test lies ahead.”