Delhi CWG closing ceremony ‘a spectacular send-off’, says international media

Friday, October 15, 2010

NEW DELHI - The curtains came down on the XIXth Commonwealth Games in New Delhi with a spectacular closing ceremony which has drawn unparalleled applause from across the world.

Martial arts, schoolchildren dancing to the tune of Indian National Song-Vande Matram, popular Bollywood hits and a laser show took centre stage in front of a 65,000-strong audience at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.

The event has also been well appreciated by international media, which had been criticizing the lead-up of the Games plagued by terror threats, a bridge collapse, a shambolic athletes’ village and the first case of dengue fever.

“India brings down curtain on its troubled Commonwealth Games with a spectacular send-off,” the Daily Mail said in its headline.

It also said that the “most controversial Commonwealth Games in history - marked by oppressive security and low spectator turnout - came to a close today without any major glitches as India celebrated the finale with an extravagant cultural show”.

The Guardian in its headlines said: “Commonwealth Games 2010 finish with India triumphant”.

The newspaper also highlighted that the Games ended with a triumphant, noisy ceremony coloured by nationalism.

“With India pushing England into third place in the medals tally when badminton champion Saina Nehwal won a gold, and with no major catastrophe marring the competition, the view among spectators and officials in the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was that the Games had been a triumph, projecting India as an emerging power on the world stage,” it said.

The entertainment segment of the ceremony was designed to highlight India’s rich cultural heritage and the depth it enjoys in fields such as dances and martial arts.

The opening event was an Indian martial arts ceremony ‘Agni’ in which 800 performers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Manipur, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra and Nagaland displayed their skills in an eight-minute act.

In another segment, paying tribute to the country, over 2,000 schoolchildren performed to the tunes of Oscar winner A.R. Rahman’s composition Vande Mataram.

This segment was followed by a 10-minute performance by the Armed forces’ band, which annually performs at the Beating Retreat ceremony during the Republic Day celebrations.

A high-tech laser show by the Germany-based firm Tarm Laser Technologies was a feast for the eyes of everyone present inside the stadium.

Later, Scottish dancers in tartans heralded the handing over of next Commonwealth Games in 2014 in Glasgow. (ANI)

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