The 2010 Commonwealth Games is scheduled for October 3-14 in Delhi, India. The Olympic-style contest, held every four years, is one of the world’s largest multi-sport competitions. The event is a gathering of world-class athletes from 54 Commonwealth nations, competing for national pride and individual excellence. While the Commonwealth Games features sports commonly found in other multi-sport events, it also includes athletic disciplines that are uniquely British such as Lawn Bowls and Netball. In this article, I will preview the 2010 Commonwealth Games as well as offer medal predictions and schedule information.
The 19th edition of the Commonwealth Games marks the first time in India’s history that the country will play host to a major multi-sport event. As host India sees the 2010 Games as an opportunity to make a mark on the world (much like China with the Beijing Olympics), the Land of Bharat has invested heavily in both its athletes and infrastructures. In fact, the cost to host the Games is likely to be in the billions. In term of medal prospecting, India is expected to be highly competitive in a variety of sports. The country should perform well in events like field hockey, weightlifting, and archery. India’s best bets for gold medals are in individual disciplines such as shooting and racquet sports.
Australia is unquestionably the dominant force in the modern Commonwealth Games. The country has topped the standings for total golds and medals the last five contests, often by sizable margins. The Land Down Under frequently sends its best athletes to the event, utilizing the Games as the ideal preparation for the Summer Olympics in two years time. Australia is widely expected to sweep the medal-rich swimming events, which will ultimately lead to an overall medal victory. A repeat of the 2006 Games where the country won 60 golds and 222 medals is highly unlikely, however, as Australia is set to face strong competitions from the remaining participants.
The country to watch for is Old Blighty England. As Great Britain is set to host the 2012 London Olympics, this year’s Commonwealth Games is a good opportunity for the country to test the competitive waters so to speak. Like Australia, England will be sending its most elite athletes to Delhi. The spotlight will be on the athletic disciplines the country is targeting for medals in 2012. England is expected to strongly contend in sports like cycling, track and field, gymnastics, boxing, and diving. While the country won’t be able to topple Australia in the total medal count, England has a very realistic shot at winning the most gold medals. One should expect a close contest between the two leading Commonwealth nations for the gold medal crown.
The dark horse at the 2010 Games is Jamaica. This is due the country’s dominance in the track-and-field events. Even with the absence of Usain Bolt and many of Jamaica’s top sprinters, its talent pool is so deep that the country should undoubtedly dominate the athletics discipline. Since track and field yield a lion share of the medals at the Commonwealth Games, this should be enough to catapult Jamaica into the top five in both medal categories. Another country expected to do well at the event is Canada. The Great North should contend in swimming, diving, and rhythmic gymnastics.
My medal predictions for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India: Australia wins the most medals; England wins the most golds. The opening and closing ceremonies (set for October 3 and 14) will take place at one of the world’s biggest stadiums, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. There will be a total of 17 unique disciplines. Competitions are to take place October 4 thru 14. The Games will be broadcast by CBC (for Canada), Network Ten (for Australia), and BBC (for Great Britain). There is no word yet on whether or not live streaming of the event will be available.