LONDON, Reuter: India and Canada on Monday launched their bids to host the 1994 Commonwealth Games, with India claiming they had an advantage because they already possessed the necessary facilities.

India wants the Games held in New Delhi while Canada is supporting the Western Coastal city of Victoria.

If New Delhi’s bid succeeds, India will be the first Asian nation to stage the games, which are also being sought by Cardiff in Wales.

Randhir Singh, secretary of the Indian Olympic Association, told a news conference that New Delhi had staged 23 sports for the Asian Games in 1982, while the Commonwealth Games would compromise only 10 events.

Dr. Ivor Dent, President of the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada, told a news conference later that Victoria would have to build many of the venues if it was chosen to host the Games.

He said Victoria had budgeted 110 million Canadian dollars (92 million U.S. Dollars) to hold the event in mid-August 1994. New Delhi has budgeted 20 million dollars to hold it in mid-November.

“We have to spend an awful lot more than they (India) do”, said Dr. Dent. “We don’t have the facilities in place”.

India made an unsuccessful bid for the 1990 Games, which went to Auck-land, New Zealand, but Singh said their bid was stronger this time because the country now had more experience of holding international sporting events.

‘As well as the two compulsory sports of athletics and swimming, India are applying to host badminton, boxing, judo, table tennis, shooting, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

Canada plans to offer athletics, swimming, badminton, lawn bowls, cycling, boxing, gymnastics, shootings, swimming, wrestling and weightlifting.

The decision on the 1994 venue will be taken at a Commonwealth Games Federation meeting in Seoul on September 15.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 18, 1988