Gulf & Middle East
2014 Asian Games bid: initial joy in Indian camp
Apr 17, 2007 - 3:01:27 PM

Kuwait City, April 17 - There was initial joy in the Indian camp Tuesday as New Delhi won the right to make its presentation after South Korea's Incheon city as the two locked horns for the right to hold the 2014 Asian Games. The winner will be picked in a secret ballot in the afternoon.

This signalled a distinct advantage for New Delhi as it can now alter its crucial monetary or other offers after knowing what the rival has offered.

Veteran actor Kabir Bedi has been roped in to make New Delhi's presentation.

Indian officials, including Indian Olympic Association - president Suresh Kalmadi, for whom it is a prestigious bid, were seen smiling for the first time in two days after the Olympic Council of Asia - announced in the jam-packed Al Jahra hall of Marriott Hotel here that Incheon would make its presentation first.

Chants of 'New Delhi, New Delhi' by students of a local Indian school reverberated as the day's proceedings began.

A total of 45 countries will vote in a secret ballot to choose the winner.

Indian delegates, led by Kalmadi and comprising some of the country's top athletes, industrialists and actors, turned up in their best dresses as the Indian camp exuded confidence after Monday's nervous looks.

A posse of IOA's officials, dressed in navy blue blazer and tie, industrialist Rahul Bajaj, social activist Nafisa Ali, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury, long jumper Anju Bobby George, shooter Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore, hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan and Haryana Tourism Minister Kiran Chowdhary were among those present.

IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh, who was elected OCA secretary-general for the fifth time at the OCA general congress Monday, has worked quietly behind the scenes to canvass for New Delhi's bid. Indian Ambassador to Kuwait M. Ganapathi has also been working tirelessly.

South Asian countries, particularly Pakistan, have already thrown their weight behind New Delhi's bid. Pakistan Olympic Association president Syed Arif Hasan has said, 'there is no reason to believe that Pakistan will not support Delhi'.

While New Delhi has hosted the 1951 and 1982 Asian Games, Incheon, the third largest city in South Korea, has not hosted any. But the games have been held in Seoul and Busan.

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