Commonwealth Games begin after rain drenches spectators at Gold Coast opening ceremony

Commonwealth Games begin after rain drenches spectators at Gold Coast opening ceremony

Commonwealth Games begin after rain drenches spectators at Gold Coast opening ceremony

Britain's Prince of Wales declared the Games open at an upbeat ceremony featuring dancing lifeguards, giant flip-flops and Australia's team marching in to Men At Work's "Down Under".

"Sometimes you make mistakes and we cop it".

Led by Nigerian sprint queen Blessing Okagbare, the Nigerian representatives paraded themselves during the opening ceremony in traditional colours.

National shooter Teo Shun Xie, the reigning women's 10m air pistol champion, was the country's flag-bearer.

The party went on nonetheless and the ceremony began with a countdown sequence that welcomed the visitors to the "oldest living culture in the world" and went on to pay tribute to Australia's heritage before the European invasion.

"The ancient stories told by the indigenous people of Australia remind us that even though we may be half a world away, we are all connected", said Charles, reading from a message from Queen Elizabeth.

Australia's reputation for tough but fair competition took a hit when Test cricketers admitted ball-tampering, a scandal which prompted much debate and soul-searching.

Australia's cycling team are expected to star in the track events.

Notwithstanding the 1.1 million tickets sold - 1.24 million were available - for the Gold Coast Games, the appeal of the Commonwealth Games has diluted in recent years, with many host cities hesitant to spend the money needed to build or redevelop the necessary infrastructure.

The Gold Coast, which experiences 300 days of sun a year, will stage the Commonwealth Games over the next 12 days, ending on Sunday 15 April.

English breaststroker Adam Peaty, who has his eye on an unprecedented sub-57 seconds in the 100 metres, is another who will try to crash the Australian pool party.

Nigeria participated in the games for the first time in 1940 in Auckland, New Zealand, and since the country has always returned with a medal.

He added: "They're going to be so valuable after the Games because of that mistake".

Nafisatu Umaru took pleasure in the mix-up, saying it was somewhat fitting following the role England played in assisting Ghana qualify for their first Commonwealth Games hockey tournament. The 11-day extravaganza will see more than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations fighting for 275 gold medals across 23 events.

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