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Jul 27, 2012, 08.25 PM IST
90 minutes past midnight tonight in India, the 30th Olympic Games will get underway here to provide the stage for some 10,500 sportsmen and women from 204 competing nations to fulfil their dreams, among them Indian medal hopefuls in boxing, shooting, archery, tennis and wrestling.
In a re-run of bungling that plagued New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, there have been transport bottlenecks, complaints about food and other facilities at the Games village, and above all an 11th hour shortage of security personnel finally made up by bringing in the Army. But unlike CWG, there are no corruption charges, only complaints of inefficiency.
However, with only hours to go, pessimism was giving way to joyful expectations as the British capital appeared set to host the world's greatest sports event for an unprecedented third time. Rain and gloomy weather in the past few weeks has yielded to warm sunshine but organisers are keeping their fingers crossed, reminding everyone that the British weather is particularly unpredictable.
The 17-day festival of sports excellence will commence at 9 pm local time (1.30 am IST) with a three-hour long opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle, who made a name for himself with the Oscar-winning movie "Slumdog Millionaire" notwithstanding the criticism that he had exploited Mumbai's slums.
A global audience of up to 4 billion people is expected to watch the 27-million pound spectacle on television as several cows, horses, sheep, dogs and synthetic clouds team up with thousands of athletes and others to transform the stadium into a rural British Idyll.
Tags: India, Olympic Games, women, medal, boxing, shooting, archery, tennis, wrestling, Commonwealth Games, CWG
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