• Short Summary

    The eleventh annual Commonwealth games will be opened in Edmonton on August the third by Queen Elizabeth of Britain.

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    The eleventh annual Commonwealth games will be opened in Edmonton on August the third by Queen Elizabeth of Britain. The 10-day event is being hosted by a city that has made a real effort to be ready on time. In fact, they are ahead of schedule and that's likely to set a record for efficiency in organising international games.

    SYNOPSIS: The main stadium in Edmonton cost more than 20 million U.S. dollars and seats over 42,000 people. It's owned by the city of Edmonton and is Canada's third largest stadium. Building work began in December 1975 and the main construction was completed two years later. The organisers say they learnt a lot from the Montreal Olympics.

    Fifty-three Commonwealth nations are eligible to participate in the games. More than 1,500 athletes are expected to compete in the 10 sports events on the programme. Bowling and badminton are two amateur sports included, which are not Olympic events.

    The cycling events will take lace at the Argyll Velodrome, a new outdoor track with a concrete surface at Argyll Park in Edmonton's southeast area. The track is a 333.3 metre oval, with seating for 3,000 people.

    The athletes will be housed at a ready-made Games village, the Lister Hall residential complex at the University of Alberta. Three 10-storey bedroom towers will accommodate the competitors.

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has spent more than two-million dollars on equipment and well-planned lighting for colour television transmission.. The Games Aquatic Centre was completed last year and Canadian Swimmers have been using its four pools for training. Canada emerged as a world power in the sort after the Montreal Olympics and will try to repeat the performance.

    Edmonton students carried the flags of countries expected to participate in a simulated version of the opening day ceremonies. The Games have been backed enthusiastically by the people of Edmonton. A plebiscite was held to question whether the trouble, upheaval and expense of staging the games was worth it and 76 per cent of the population gave the planners a vote of confidence. The efficiency in organising the Edmonton Commonwealth Games is in direct contrast to the extravagant delays and controversy that surrounded the Montreal Olympics in 1976. A cultural programme called Festival '78 will coincide with the Games. It will represent the different countries involved, with African and Caribbean music and a special art exhibition showing work from around the Commonwealth.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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