Commonwealth Games officials impressed with Sri Lanka’s Hambanthota bid

June 30, Colombo: Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) evaluation commission visiting Sri Lanka to inspect the Southern port city of Hambanthota as the venue for its 2018 games said they were impressed with the country’s bid to host the games.

“We have been impressed with the vision for Sri Lanka and Hambantota and now have a clear view of where the hosting of the Commonwealth Games could fit within that vision,” Louise Martine, the head of the evaluation commission, said Thursday.

The CGF commission arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday for a four-day evaluation visit following its visit to Gold Coast in Australia, the only other bid city to host the 2018 sporting event.

The chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Martin has said that “overall, the proposal of staging the Commonwealth Games in Hambantota is an exciting one and, given the development of the relevant infrastructure, will provide a unique Games experience for the athletes and other Games client groups.”

Although there is only an international port and an international cricket stadium that hosted two of the 2011 World Cup Cricket matches, the government officials say the city will be ready with the necessary infrastructure by 2016. Sri Lanka plans to host South Asia Games in the tsunami-devastated port city in 2016.

“We noted substantial progress and have no doubt about the resolve to deliver the necessary infrastructure by 2016,” the chairwoman said.

“The leadership shown by the national and district governments is impressive. The alignment of agencies around the national, regional and games vision is equally impressive,” Mrs. Martin noted.

The Commission at the end of their visit is to produce a technical report that examines the city’s ability to stage the Games, set against Games requirements. The report will be made public a month before the CGF’s General Assembly meeting.

The 71 nations and territories that make up the CGF will vote to select the city that is to be awarded the 2018 Games when the CGF’s General Assembly meets on 11 November 2011 in St. Kitts Nevis.

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