Hambantota Bid Book Handover Eclipses Gold Coast Effort

May 11, 2011

The Sri Lankan city of Hambantota’s bid book handover to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games overshadowed their rival bidders from Gold Coast in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today, May 11.

The bid team were accompanied by a choir, ethnic dancers, elephants and drummers as they handed in their bid book while Gold Coast used a 10-year schoolgirl as the spearhead of their campaign.

Each city were able to give 20 minutes presentations at the official ceremony which was attended by senior officials from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), including vice-president Prince Tunku Imran and chief executive Mike Hooper. 

Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensalnd, Australia, spoke of 10-year old Eve Lutze, stating: “Eve has got Gold Coast written all over her – she embodies the youthful energy, freshness and enthusiasm of the Gold Coast.”

“The weather would be perfect for athletes and spectators alike, and these dates would include two weekends and coincide with school holidays,” she said in a statement.

But the Gold Coast’s presentation was eclipsed by Hambantota, who started off the campaign as rank outsiders but whose bid is increasingly beginning to gain creditability.

In contrast to the Gold Coast bid, who claim that 80 per cent of their facilities are already in place, Hambantota are promising to create a new park to stage the Games, which have been held in Sri Lanka before. 

“Given the opportunity to host the Games will make such a difference to Commonwealth sport, to its athletes and to the young people in Sri Lanka, South Asia and around the Commonwealth who aspire to excite and thrill us with their performances in 2018,” said Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the chairman of Hambantota 2018 and the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.