President Patil to inaugurate Commonwealth Youth Games Sunday

October 11th, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilPune, Oct 11 (IANS) The stage is set for the 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games, a spectacular sporting bonanza which will be inaugurated here Sunday evening by President Pratibha Patil.Over 1,300 athletes and 350 officials from 71 countries will participate in the week-long sports extravaganza, being held at the Shiv Chhatrapati Shivaji Stadium, an official said here Saturday.

Being held in Asia for the first time, the CYG is considered a curtain raiser for the Commonwealth Games, which will be hosted by New Delhi in 2010. The previous two CYGs were held in Edinburgh (Scotland) and Bendigo (Australia).

Pune CYG-2008 will see the participants competing in nine sporting disciplines - athletics, badminton, boxing, shooting, swimming, tennis, table tennis, wrestling and weightlifting.

The CYG will also help identify India’s potential medal winners for the main Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the next Olympics.

At the last CYG-Bendigo, hosts Australia emerged on top with 58 gold, 41 silver and 30 bronze medals, followed by England, South Africa, Scotland and New Zealand. India was ranked eighth.

The sporting venue - Balewari Sports Complex on the outskirts of the city - is considered unique since it houses the competition venues for all disciplines and the athletes’ village in a single 153-acre location.

The CYG mascot is a lovable tiger - India’s national animal - christened “Jigrr”. He is the “younger brother” of “Shera”, the mascot of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“Jigrr” is an amalgam of the Hindi word “jigar” meaning courage, and the tiger’s roar - “grr”.

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