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14-year old to lead Rwanda at opening ceremony

14-year-old swimmer Alphonsine Agahozo will carry Rwanda’s flag during today’s Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. The ceremony will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, New Delhi.

The 50m freestyle swimmer will lead a 25-man team in the grand ceremony which is scheduled to start at 1900 Indian time (2pm Rwandan time).

Agahozo was so excited when told the good news and said, “It is going to be a memorable opportunity for me to be the flag carrier for Rwanda on our first appearance in these Games.”

The opening ceremony is set to last for 50 minutes according to organisers and athletes would be back at the village.

Australia will be the first nation to march into Jawaharlal Nehru stadium while India will move in last according to the organisers here in Delhi. After heading parading, athletes will sit down to enjoy the entire spectacle for the first time ever.

Dignitaries attending the ceremony include Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Prince Charles among others.

The Opening Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games will start with a two-minute clip showcasing India to the world. The highlight of the ceremony will be the biggest helium balloon ever which will be suspended 25 feet above the ground.

The ceremony will close with a song by Oscar-winning musician A. R. Rahman, who composed songs Jai Ho for ‘Slumdog Millionnaire’ in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police is ready with extensive security arrangements. They have deployed over 700 volunteers on duty and over 2,000 others to take care of cleanliness, transport and spectators.

The Games are making history by being the biggest ever in terms of participants. More than 6,700 athletes have confirmed that they will be attending the Games. Over 5,800 foreign delegates have already arrived and many more are expected to come by Saturday.

In a related development, Rwanda was yesterday officially admitted into the Commonwealth Games family. The historic occasion took place during the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) general assembly.

The Rwanda Olympic Committee Secretary General Parfait Busabizwa told Sunday Sport, “We have been officially welcomed into the Commonwealth games. We will add value to this family by elevating the standards of sports and bringing on competitive athletes as well.”

“This is a good and a big family that will even lift the standards of our athletes and it’s has come at a right time when the country’s sports is being developed at all levels,” said Busabizwa.

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