NEW DELHI, India, (CMC) – Organisers of the Commonwealth Games are looking to influence leading international sports stars – including Usain Bolt – to next year’s event in the Indian capital.
A leading member of the organising committee indicated that they were even willing to lure athletes like Bolt with a hefty payday to scorch the tracks at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for the Games that will be staged from October 3 to 14.
“We are looking for an Indian sponsor for Bolt,” said Suresh Kalmadi, the chairman of the organising committee.
“Any company in India would love to be associated with him. The organising committee is making an effort so that Indian industry gets global mileage.”
The Games are costing the Indians over US $1.6 billion, and Indians are questioning the wisdom of spending so much money on an event that has lost its aura.
But Kalmadi, a federal member of parliament and the head of the Indian Olympic Association, believes that next year’s event can help the Games regain some of its prestige.
“The Commonwealth countries, including Jamaica, are going to send their best teams,” he said.
“Usain Bolt is going to come and all the top chaps from other nations are also coming. The Commonwealth Games are next only to the Olympics.”
But he and the rest of the organisers will have to do much more to convince detractors.