5 Oct 2010

Comonwealth Games opened

12:18 am on 5 October 2010

The 19th Commonwealth Games were declared open in a spectacular opening ceremony in Delhi which might repair some of the damage to India's image after a calamitous build-up to the sporting festival.

The preparations for the $8 billion event in Delhi, dubbed the "friendly games", have been marred over the last few weeks by a series of setbacks.

Organisers are hoping to put all that behind them over the next 11 days of sporting competition, although there were boos for chief Games organiser Suresh Kalmadi.

Prince Charles, who was greeted with chants of "India! India!" before he read out a message from his mother Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, said he was delighted to declare the Games open.

Only half the New Zealand team took part in the opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

New Zealand is involved in 10 sports on the first day of competition, so many of the athletes decided to rest instead of being a part of the late night show.

The Silver Ferns shooter Irene van Dyk led the New Zealanders into the stadium.