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Commonwealth Games: The build-up

Tuesday, 22 July 2014
ALL THE NEWS, ACTION AND REACTION LIVE FROM GLASGOW 2014 AS IT HAPPENS!

By Nick Butler and Paul Osborne in Glasgow, and Zjan Shirinian in London
Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are British

Until tomorrow...

20:00 
We are just about ready to leave you here tonight. Before we do, here are a few photos to see you through 'till tomorrow...

Glasgow 2014 clydes knocked over

The excitement and heat seems to proved a bit too much for this group of Clydes (what's the collective noun for a group of Clydes? A shipyard of Clydes?). But we are sure they will pick themselves up in time for tomorrow and the Opening Ceremony..

Glasgow 2014 superstore in George Square

The Glasgow 2014 superstore in George Square has also been proving popular with the public.

Glasgow 2014 ticket queues





A few tickets are still available for tomorrow tonight's Opening Ceremony, featuring Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle, at Celtic Park and the public have been queuing up to snap them up.

We hope you have enjoyed our first blog of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Be sure to come back to tomorrow for full coverage of the build-up to the Opening Ceremony and, of course, the big event itself...

Fred Evans update 

19:45
A quick update on Fred Evans' accreditation refusal ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Speaking to insidethegames, Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper has said that "for the Commonwealth Games all participants receiving accreditation are subject to a background and security check.

"All CGA's (Commonwealth Games Associations), prior to submitting their names, acknowledge this.

"Therefore, any athlete, official, coach, who fail these checks will not be granted an accreditation.

"This is the same system used for London 2012."

For the full in depth story, refer to reporter Gary Anderson's story from earlier today by clicking here.

19:25
Another golden nugget of information from insidethegames' Olympic historian Philip Barker on an inspirational UNICEF youth ambassador from Malawi...

Philip BarkerThe girl from Malawi who helped launch the Queen's Baton Relay has carried it again in Glasgow as it beared the end of its journey to the Opening Ceremony tomorrow evening.

Monica Nzonzi, a UNICEF youth ambassador ran with the baton in Bellahouston. She had accompanied Scotland's Olympic and Commonwealth champion Allan Wells and met the Queen at Buckingham Palace last October. She was also on hand to greet the baton in January when it visited her homeland, as part of its international tour.

"In my community they could not believe I had met the Queen " she said.

"When I am  in Scotland I call it my  home. It has the same warmth as our community back in Malawi. When Scottish people  come to my country they also feel at home because our capital is called Blantyre" she said.

"I the partnership between  between Malawi and Scotland is a very deep one and will develop."

The South Lanarkshire town of Blantyre in Scotland was the home town of David Livingstone, a Scottish missionary and humanitarian who explored Malawi in the mid-nineteenth century. Ever since the ties between the two nations have grown. Malawi first sent a team to the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and when many African nations stayed away from the 1986 Games in an anti apartheid protest, Malawi did attend and won two boxing medals.

Pride House Glasgow officially opened in City Centre

Pride House Glasgow was officially opened today with speakers inclulding Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg and Cabinet secretary for Commonwealth Games Shona Robison ©Twitter


19:00 There was quite the line up at the launch of Pride House Glasgow today as Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg joined the Cabinet secretary for Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison, Hugh Torrance, chair of LEAP Sport Scotland, the group responsible for Pride House Glasgow, and many others to officially kick-start the opening of Pride House - the first House to be opened at a Commonwealth Games.

Pride House will not only provide a social hub for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and intersex (LGBTI) community throughout the course of the Games, but also demonstrate a commitment to equality for the LGBTI community through events, information sharing, discussions, and cultural and arts events.

Around 70 events will be held at Pride House from tomorrow through to August 3, with the House located on Albion Street in the heart of Glasgow City Centre.

Cycling training at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome


The penultimate day of training at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome ©Kevin Stewart/Twitter

18:49 Scottish Cycling track sprint coach Kevin Stewart has tweeted this picture of the relative clam before the sporting storm, as athletes complete their penultimate day of training before the action begins on Thursday (July 24).

Meanwhile, there's been a bit of a row about the prominence, or otherwise, of Sir Chris Hoy's name on the building that will host cycling competitions at the Glasgow Games. Scroll down to just above 08:46 to read what Sir Bradley Wiggins had to say about it.

18:41 From Sochi to London for another slice of non-Glasgow 2014 news. English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has jokingly compared last month's FIFA Congress to "like something out of North Korea". Read his comments here.

Sochi to host 2015 SportAccord Convention

Quote marks"It is a pleasure to inform the sport community that the Convention will be organised in Sochi. A city that demonstrated its passion for sport and capability through the successful organisation of the Winter Olympic Games, it will once again embrace the entire sport community while activating its legacy."
- Marius Vizer, President of SportAccord, praises Sochi after the city was awarded the SportAccord International Convention.

Influential Russian President Vladimir Putin probably had some influence in the Convention being awarded to Sochi ©AFP/Getty Images

17:49 A brief move away from Glasgow now, eastwards to the location for the last insidethegames live blog, because Russian resort Sochi has been officially announced as the location for the SportAccord Convention next year.

A controversial choice, certainly, considering relations between Russia and much of the rest of the world are at such a low ebb following the missile attack last week on the Malaysia Airlines plane. As well as the fact that the Convention was also held in St Petersburg in 2013, when Russian President Vladimir Putin was among those who attended.

Abu Dhabi, Durban and an unnamed city in Brazil were the other contenders.

Australian flag-raising Ceremony

17:38 The Australian Flagbearer, incidentally, is the four time Commonwealth cycling gold medal winner, Anna Meares.

One half of surely the greatest rivalry in the history of female track cycling, along with the now retired Briton Victoria Pendleton, the 30-year-old has also won two Olympic and 10 world titles across the sprint, team sprint, keirin and 500 metre time trial events.

Anna Meares will carry the Australian flag at Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images




Simply by competing in Glasgow, Meares, who has been cycling since she was 11, will join Kathy Watt as the only female cyclist to compete in four Commonwealth Games

She is currently one medal shy of Watt's Australian female record of seven Commonwealth Games cycling medals. And with Pendleton now safely out of the way, you would be foolish to bet against her emulating and perhaps overtaking that total. She will compete in the time trial and sprint events next week, with neither the women's keirin or team sprint on the Commonwealth Games programme.

17:31
 Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, one of a large number of members from the British Royal Family this week, poses with members of the National Youth Theatre who performed during the Australian team flag-raising ceremony at the Athletes' Village today.

Prince Edward was present as the Australian flag was raised today ©Getty Images


Welsh boxer Fred Evans denied accreditation

Twitter
Struggling to understand the Fred Evans story. Criminal conviction/ record not usual grounds for refusal.
- Four time Olympic gold medal winning rower and former IOC member Sir Matthew Pinsent is confused by the situation involving Fred Evans.

17:17 Gary Anderson's report on the controversial denying of accreditation to Wales' London 2012 silver medal winning boxer, Fred Evans, can now be found here.

Fred Evans has been refused accreditation for Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images

17:03 And a nice piece of good news to end upon, because outgoing CGF chief executive Mike Hooper has been made an honorary vice-president of the CGF in recognition of his longstanding contribution to the organisation.

That announcement apparently encouraged a standing ovation from the General Assembly this afternoon.

Hooper will be replaced by none other than Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg, who will be based in the London headquarters from a starting date in November.

16:48 Apologies for the slow nature of updates the last few minutes, but there has been a lot going on here this afternoon. And the Games have not even started yet.

The CGF press conference has now finished and we can report all manner of titbits from that. Changes in the structure of the organisation and on the process for selecting sports for the Commonwealth Games programme have been discussed, with more debate to take place at the next General Assembly, to be held in Auckland next year.

There has also been much positive talk about keeping the increasing further the number of Paralympic events on the Commonwealth Games programme, with Glasgow 2014 having already got more such events than any previous edition. There are, however, no plans for a separate Commonwealth Para Games.

There was also some damning criticism of the damning criticism we brought you at 15:22 today. Both Prince Imran and Mike Hooper stood by their condemnation of the eight countries who missed deadlines for submitting athletes for Glasgow 2014.

We will bring you more on all these stories later on today, with more coverage in the dedicated Commonwealth Games section of our website, which can be found here.

Commonwealth Games Federation headquarters relocation plans dropped

President of the CGF Prince Imran confirms that proposals to relocate the CGF headquarters to Kuala Lumpur have been dropped ©ITG

16:30 
Prince Imran, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, has confirmed that proposals for its headquarters to be relocated from London to Kuala Lumpur have been dropped and that it will stay in the British capital.

"The feeling among our members is that they want to retain their ties to London," said Prince Imran during a Media Conference on the conclusion of the CGF General Assembly. 

Big blow for Welsh medal hopes


16:10 Welsh boxer Fred Evans, who won silver in the welterweight division at London 2012, has been ruled out of the Commonwealth Games after having his accreditation refused. 

According to Team Wales Chef de Mission Brian Davies, Evans "had his accreditation refused by Glasgow 2014 based on checks completed by the Home Office and the Commonwealth Games accreditation decision board."

In April Evans admitted his part in a nightclub assault in Birmingham, for which he was ordered to pay fines and costs in excess of £1000, but it was not immediately clear if this was the reason for the accreditation refusal.

In Pictures: Athletes training for Glasgow 2014 glory

Former Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe speaks to D'Orsogna, coach Chris Mooney and Christian Sprenger during a training session for Australia's swimmers at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre ©Getty Images

16:07 Check out our picture gallery of athletes getting some last-minute training in for Glasgow 2014.

Off to Glasgow we go

England's athletics squad are flying to Glasgow ©Will Smith/TwitterEngland's athletics squad are flying to Glasgow ©Will Smith/Twitter



15:47 England's athletics squad are flying the short distance to Glasgow having spent a few days training at the Team England camp in Manchester.

War of words ahead of Glasgow 2014

15:22 Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee President Brian Lewis has strongly criticised the Commonwealth Games Federation for giving the impression that eight countries had "bungled and forgotten" to enter athletes for Glasgow 2014.

Read Nick Butler's exclusive story here.

Dwain Chambers pulls out of England relay team

Dwain Chambers has decided to focus on the 100m in Glasgow ©British Athletics via Getty Images

15:02 Sprinter Dwain Chambers has pulled out of England's 4x100 metres relay squad for Glasgow to focus on the 100m at next month's European Championships in Zurich, Team England has announced. No replacement has been nominated by England Athletics.

In other athletics team news for the country, Laura Wake will replace the injured Meghan Beesley in the 400m hurdles and Jess Tappin will come into the heptathlon to replace Katarina Johnson-Thompson. The world number one heptathlete has been advised not to compete after picking up a stress reaction in her foot.

Chris Thompson has been withdrawn from the 10,000m having not fully recovered from a lower leg injury, while Jo Pavey has withdrawn from the 10,000m and will be replaced by Kate Avery. Pavey will still contest the 5,000m.

In cycling, Russ Downing will replace Jon Dibben in the men's road race after Dibben withdrew due to a broken elbow. David Fletcher will no longer compete in the mountain bike event after a fall in training. He will be replaced by Liam Killeen, 2006 Commonwealth Games champion.

Judoka Caroline Kinnane has withdrawn from the under 78kg event with a neck injury and will be replaced by Katie-Jemima Yeats-Brown.

14:52 If you missed it yesterday, a few more juicy details have been given about what we can expect during the Opening Ceremony tomorrow. Read them here.

England chooses its Flagbearer

Nick Matthew will carry England's flag into Celtic Park during tomorrow's Opening Ceremony ©Getty Images


14:33 Squash player Nick Matthew has just been named as England's Flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony, says our reporter Gary Anderson at England House.

Matthew has won the World Open three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2013. He secured singles and doubles gold at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and is currently ranked number two in the world in singles.

With 29 career titles, the 33-year-old has his eyes firmly fixed on more medal success in Glasgow, where he will be defending both titles just four weeks after knee surgery for a small meniscus tear.

Matthew, who will earn his 100th England cap when competition begins on Thursday (July 24), said: "It's a great honour to be chosen to carry the flag by this incredibly talented team of athletes from Team England.

"The Commonwealth Games is a pinnacle for squash players in a multi-sport Games environment, and I feel extremely proud to represent all the different sports and athletes here as we unite as Team England."

Here's the full story.

Quote marks"This is my first multi-sport Games. Coming into the Athletes' Village has been a great experience, there's so much to do and so many other athletes about and the food has been awesome. Everyone has been really friendly and welcoming so far and it's great to have been a part of it. I'm just looking forward to competing now and getting down to the competition venue to see how it is set up, and I have no doubt it will be top class."
- England weightlifter Sonny Webster, who will compete in the 94 kilogram category at the Commonwealth Games, is soaking up the atmosphere in Glasgow.

Wales' Opening Ceremony Flagbearer

Francesca Jones will fly the flag for Wales at the Opening Ceremony ©Team Wales


14:18 Rhythmic gymnast Francesca Jones has been announced as the Team Wales Flagbearer for tomorrow's Opening Ceremony.

The five-time British champion, who will be competing in her third Commonwealth Games, said: "It's a massive honour to have been selected as the Team Wales flagbearer. I never expected it and only found out last night. I was just so shocked. It's just such a massive and amazing team this year as well so it's a complete privilege and I really hope I can do everybody proud."

In Delhi 2010, she won a silver medal in the hoop discipline.

Twitter logo"Should try to be tidy, however it's not happening!" -
Scottish cyclist Alistair Rutherford is settling in to his new home in the Athletes' Village.

Alistair Rutherford is settling in nicely ©Alistair Rutherford/Twitter

13:56
We are off for a slightly late lunch now but will be back soon to bring you more coverage of events, as they happen, this afternoon. 

The announcement of the English Flagbearer for Glasgow 2014 is coming up in around half an hour's time. Or, if England decide to emulate Alex Salmond's timekeeping skills, in about an hour and a half.

Scottish First Minister addresses the press

13:50
But overall, lateness aside a pretty solid performance from the First Minister we thought. Avoided drawing any comparison between the Games and the referendum, which would most probably have brought adverse rather than positive affects.

And, like a seasoned pro, he seemed unruffled by the barbs of the sizeable Commonwealth press contingent.

13:41
Alex Salmond went a bit Philip Barker on us towards the end there, explaining that, when Liz Lynch (later Liz McColgan) won gold at Edinburgh 1986, she set the first women's 10,000 metre world record because there was not one in existence before then.

Beat that stat, Phil.

Alex Salmond cited Liz McColgan's (née Lynch) victory at Edinburgh 1986 as an example of Scottish Commonwealth Games success ©Getty Images

13:30
After claiming it was "$575 million well spent", Salmond gets up and walks off stage to the tune of what else but, The Proclaimers. 

13:26
Salmond confident that the Games will provide "inspiration for generations" not only for Scotland but the rest of the Commonwealth as he continues to answer the media's questions.

13:20  
"If I can drink sugar free Iron Bru then I can concentrate on the Games over the next 10 days," jokes Salmond when asked if it is possible to put aside the impending referendum during the course of the Commonwealth Games.

13:14
Questions now. "I want to concentrate on the Games over the next few days", Salmond says, when asked about their potential impact on the referendum. He does not divulge about the prospect of a Scottish team at Rio 2016, if they do vote yes. 

13:10
Alex Salmond is now reiterating the good work done by Glasgow in a Games which will be delivered "on budget". The Hydro Arena is cited as a particular example of a Games investment before they have even started. But the Games will be felt all over Scotland, he claims, with 150 sporting hubs to be established and 70 per cent of all business contracts having gone to Scottish companies. 

They will be a catalyst for investment, and are increasing the global profile of Scotland. It has never been an easier time to market Scotland. The Games will highlight that it is a great place to study and go on holiday. A thriving economic and cultural life, complimented by natural beauty.

13:08
Up first is sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris, who speaks about the preparations undertaken over the last seven years, and the work to ensure success for Scottish athletes.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond gets set to address the press here inside the SECC ITG

13:03
The First Minister has arrived, 33 minutes later than billed, to a booming montage of Scottish sporting success. 

12:56
Alex Salmond is now due imminently here. He was tweeting congratulations to Ascot-born Scottish Flagbearer Euan Burton yesterday.

12:50
We are still waiting for Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond at the Main Press Centre here. He was due at 12:30, but I guess he is a very busy man, what with a referendum in a couple of months and all.

England diving team delayed due to emergency landing

12:33
 England diver Tom Daley will be delayed on his trip to Glasgow after his plane engine caught fire on a trip back from Shanghai where he was completing in a Diving World Cup event.

Daley was travelling back to London alongside teammates Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch when the engine of the Virgin Atlantic aircraft reportedly started smoking leading it to eventually land at a military base in the Russian city of Irkutsk.

The trio, alongside a number of England coaches, will now fly back to London later today before making their way to the host nation a day later than expected.

Their plan was to stay in Glasgow for two nights before travelling to the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, where the diving competition will be held.

Tom Daley was involved in a different sort of descent from normal as his plans emergency landed in Russia ©Getty Images


Criticism of CGF decision to waive rules on countries who forgot to enter athletes

12:15
Some interesting development to a story we did yesterday on insidethegames about the CGF allowing athletes to compete despite their countries forgetting to enter them.
 
Brian Lewis, the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, has told insidethegames today that "regrettable and disappointing is how he would describe the assertions allegedly made by the CGF President", and "certainly not in keeping with the Commonwealth Games brand positioning as the 'Friendly Games' nor the Sport value of fair play."

He adds that the CGF are "well informed or ought to be that the June 11 deadline presented an intractable problem to some Commonwealth Games Associations such as TTCGA, since the selection process for athletics is the National Track and Field Championships scheduled for the third weekend in July".

We will bring you more on this, and a full report, later on. It will be interesting to hear the response of Prince Imran following the conclusion of the General Assembly at 4pm today.

Barnes furious after sleep disrupted by two drugs tests

12:00 Northern Ireland boxer Paddy Barnes was well and truly woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning after being forced to undergo an early morning drugs test after dehydration caused his initial test to be scrapped late last night.

The two-time Olympic bronze medallist took to Twitter to vent his frustration.

Twitter logo#antidoping let me home at 2am last night, wake me up at 7.30am for another test! This is some preparation for the games, f***ing joke!


Read the full story here

Queen's Baton Relay

11:48:
The Queen's Baton Relay has made it's way to Hampden Park Stadium where it was met by Scottish national football team manager Gordon Strachan.  

Scottish national football manager Gordon Strachan poses with the Queen's Baton alongside "Games Makers" at Hampden Park ©Getty ImagesGordon Strachan with the Queen's Baton at Hampden Park ©Getty Images  










Daily press briefing with Sir Roger Moore

11:27
A rather ambitious question on Sir Roger's opinion on Scottish independence now. This knight of the realm has seen off countless villains in his acting days, he is not going to fall for that one. "I am here as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and we are strictly apolitical so, if I did have an opinion, I would not share it now," he explains.

Not even shaken or stirred by that question.

11:25
Sir Roger now making a specific appeal to Australian to contribute to the cause, in response to another question. "I would say please contribute and 'good on ya, sport," he adds.

11:16
 "We've been working in Scotland for many, many years," Sparkes says, in answer to a question on the reaction of local people to the UNICEF partnership. "We have been working alongside schools, and helping them understand their rights, and have worked more in Scotland than in other parts of the UK. We've met with nothing but enthusiasm, every step of the way. They have always said 'why shouldn't we' rather than 'why should we'".

Every single person has engaged with the idea and helped make it happen. 2,000 people text in gifts during the rehearsal alone, which we weren't expecting at all, it is added.

Tickets are going fast, Glasgow 2014 executive advisor Jackie Brock-Doyle reveals, although she is reluctant to reveal specific details because numbers are changing all the time. 

11:13
Sir Roger Moore, to general disappointment, says he has a "phobia of helicopters" and will not be making a similar entrance to the one made by current 007 Daniel Craig during the Opening Ceremony of London 2012.

He does not know if Scotland's Sir Sean Connery is attending, he adds, but would be delighted to see him if he is.

11:08
UNICEF's segment in the Opening Ceremony will compliment rather than disrupt the spirit of the Games, and will fit with the entry of the athletes. For a billion people on television to see UNICEF's work during the Ceremony is almost more important than the money that will be raised, admits Jon Sparkes.

"We are not just asking people to act tomorrow night, but are asking them to continue to act in support of the Commonwealth," adds David Grevemberg.

11:04
Now speaking is the UNICEF Youth Ambassador for Malawi, Monica Dzonzi, about how the charity has transformed her life, and that of so many others.

10:55
After highlighting his experiences of travelling through the Commonwealth, and the many people he encountered along the way, Sir Roger concludes by reiterating how "proud he is to be here", and how he thanks everyone in Scotland for the opportunity".

10:50 "
My name is Roger. Roger Moore," Sir Roger begins.

He has been a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF for 24 years, "so almost all of my life", he quips, and is wonderfully proud to have worked for so long for children's lives. He is now citing the two example countries of Zambia and Ghana, where people remain happy and positive despite the huge problems they face. 

10:48 UNICEF UK chief executive Jon Sparkes is highlighting the work being undertaken as part of the partnership. In Glasgow, this includes films being shown in public across the city, and a promotional trail involving mascot Clyde, and work with many thousands of athletes in the Village.

A special role in the Opening Ceremony, that has "never been done before" at a Commonwealth Games, is also promised.

In an international sense, UNICEF are working on schemes such as swimming lessons for youngsters in Bangladesh, where thousands drown every year as a result of not being able to swim, as well as work to draw attention to the risk of contracting HIV/Aids in affected parts of Africa.

"Glasgow 2014 will be a fantastic experience for sport but could also be a life-changing experience for children across the Commonwealth," he concludes.

10:45 Today's theme is the partnership between Glasgow 2014 and UNICEF, with chief executive David Grevemberg opening proceedings by describing it as one of his "proudest achievements".

The media briefing is underway ©ITG



10:42
And today's media briefing is underway. We'll avoid the 007 puns from here, maybe.

Star-studded media briefing

10:38
Sir Roger Moore is running late. It's a good job MI6 isn't calling...

Roger Moore left and David Puttnam are at this morning's media briefing ©Getty Images

10:29 As if 007 wasn't enough, Lord David Puttnam - who produced the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire - is also at this morning's media briefing to speak to the media.

The film tells the story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics - Scottish runner Eric Liddell and Englishman Harold Abrahams.

LGBT rights in competing countries

10:25 After controversy about rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in some of the Glasgow 2014 competing countries, including in Uganda where homosexuality was banned in December, Scotland's Minister for External Affairs and International Development has spoken out.

Humza Yousaf said it would be wrong for Scotland to dictate to other countries how they should behave, adding: "I think an important aspect in terms of the legacy of these Games is that we don't lecture other Commonwealth countries."

Read the full story here.

10:14 With the news Mr Bond (um, Moore), is in Glasgow, it's likely one or two of the media contingent in the city are pondering their favourite of his 007 quips. We have a few in mind...  

10:03 I will leave you in the more than capable hands of our deputy editor, Zjan Shirinian.

09:59 Right, after a leisurely working breakfast, we are off to the Main Press Centre for the daily briefing, where James Bond legend Roger Moore will be a special guest.

The breakfast was slightly disrupted by one of my colleagues spilling milk all over the table. "No point crying over that," quipped an effortlessly amusing Philip Barker.

New Zealand for netball glory?

09:45 Reigning Commonwealth Games netball champions New Zealand have been fine tuning their preparations for this year's Games at the University of Bath as they look to defend the title they won in Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi four years ago.

09:34 They spent their final pre-Games preparation camp training at the University of Bath before transferring to the Athletes' Village for the Games.

Quote marks"We felt this was the ideal spot to train because of the great facilities at the University, We've been here before and so everything is very familiar to us. We feel a little bit spoilt here. It was a very clear choice for us when we heard the Games were going to be in Glasgow. We've had a really massive build-up to the Games and this is pretty much the icing on the cake. We're putting the final touches on to what we've already done to put out there when we get to the Commonwealth Games."
- Vice-captain Laura Langman, who was a member of the New Zealand team that trained in Bath ahead of an international against England at the Sports Training Village in 2009, speaking about the facility.

Australia, as well as Jamaica and England, are likely to be their biggest rivals.

Kumar to carry Indian flag

Vijay Kumar, pictured at London 2012, will carry the Indian flag at the Opening Ceremony ©Getty Images
09:15 London 2012 pistol shooting silver medallist Vijay Kumar will fly the flag for India at tomorrow's Opening Ceremony after being named flag-bearer for the nation.

For the full story click here.

Queen's Baton Relay

09:08 The Queen's Baton Relay has already been going for an hour or so this morning. The Baton is now in the south of the city.

TwitterIt was great to be the first person to carry the #queensbaton in the #commonwealth #batonrelay at #cathkinbraes.... 
- Mountain biker Rob Wardell was the first person to carry the Baton today. 

Rob Wardell carrying the Baton on the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike trails this morning ©Rob Wardell/Facebook
Quote marks

"I'd be a bit p***** off if I were him because they've stuck a great big Emirates sign over his name and it doesn't stand out that it's the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome other than a little thing as you walk in. It's more like a shopping sign with an Emirates thing on it.  I think there should be more made for him. Stick a whopping great statue outside because it doesn't hit you straight away that it's his Velodrome. I think he got done over a bit. But he won't complain because he's far too nice. So I'll complain for him. They should do something about it."
- Knight of the realm Sir Bradley Wiggins speaking in typically eloquent fashion about the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.  

08:46 Some photos of a beautiful evening in Glasgow last night, taken by insidethegames Olympic and Commonwealth Games historian turned photographer, Philip Barker.

A crane on the banks of the Clyde ©Philip BarkerGymnastics and netball finals will take place in the Hydro Arena ©Philip Barker

Press briefing guest announcement - For your eyes only

08:35 At 10:30 this morning will be the daily Glasgow 2014 press briefing. And the special guest today is acting legend Roger Moore, present in his role as an ambassador for UNICEF.

He may not be the former James Bond actor most popular in Scotland, I feel Sean Connery will forever hold that honour, but should be interesting nonetheless. 

Sports Ministers meeting

08:23
Sports Ministers and senior officials from Commonwealth countries met yesterday on the sidelines of the Games.

Quote marks"In acknowledging the important role that sport plays in contributing to a shared identity in the Commonwealth, the meeting focused on the positive impact sport can make across the wide development agenda shared by Commonwealth members. The meeting also considered ways to protect the integrity of sport, to ensure that its full potential can be harnessed for positive social and economic outcomes."
- A communiqué was issued by Sports Ministers and senior officials from Commonwealth countries following their meeting yesterday.

Sports Ministers from across the Commonwealth met in Glasgow yesterday ©The Commonwealth

What is coming up today?

08:10
As ever at insidethegames, we will also be focusing on non-sporting matters, and today sees the second day of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation. 

CGF President Prince Imran and chief executive Mike Hooper will be speaking following its conclusion, at around 4pm. 

08:02 There will be many more Flagbearer announcements today. Later on this morning we will also be hearing from Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who is speaking at a press conference. It may be slightly different from the frequent appearances of Russian President Vladimir Putin at Sochi 2014, but with the Scottish Independence referendum coming up later this year, of course, it will be fascinating to hear what he has to say.

07:54 After the torrential storms of Saturday evening, and the blue sky and sunshine last night, it is a fairly grey and cloudy start this morning. The Scottish, ahem, summer, will presumably be a bit of challenge for some of the athletes from Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Or from just about anywhere else in the Commonwealth, thinking about it...

Although saying that, the weather here has been very good over the last few weeks, I have been told by several taxi drivers.

Namibian challenge in lawn bowls

07:40 I must admit, of all the sports featuring at Glasgow 2014, lawn bowls is probably the one I am least familiar with. But "the curling of the Commonwealth Games" is being billed as something of a hidden gem, and in insidethegames' new sales and marketing assistant, Katie Pollard, we have an expert who is going to help us out with some of the rigours of the sport.

If it is half as nerve-wracking and exciting as curling proved to be in Sochi, then we will not be disappointed. It only takes the memory of British skip David Murdoch preparing for his "win or die" take-out against Norway to wake me up in a cold sweat at night...

07:32 We will be focusing on all 71 nations and territories competing in Glasgow. To kick us off, here is the Namibian lawn bowls team.  After finishing seventh at the most recent World Championship, Douw Calitz and his partner Will Esterhuizen will be the southern African country's hottest hope for a medal.

Experienced Douw Calitz and his partner Will Esterhuizen are leading the Namibian charge in lawn bowls ©Proactive

In the group round, they are up against teams from Norfolk Island, Jersey, Cook Islands and Australia, with top two pairs then advancing to the quarter-finals.

Action will begin at the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre on the first day of sporting competition at Glasgow 2014, on Thursday (July 24).

What else is happening in Glasgow?


07:24 Elsewhere yesterday, we saw the withdrawal of England's world number one heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson through injury, and we were provided a glimpse of what is to come at the Opening Ceremony.

Also, check out this interview with England's five-time Commonwealth Games table tennis medal winner Andrew Baggaley. He leads a strong England men's team in Glasgow hoping to upset Singapore, the hot favourites for the team title.

07:16 Yesterday, we saw the long awaited unveiling of the Scottish Flagbearer: Ascot-born but Scottish-raised judoka Euan Burton.

To me, the name Euan Burton always conjures memories of his emotional outpouring of grief on the mat after losing at London 2012, in the early days of the Games when British disappointment was still a feasible prospect.

With judo having not featured on the programme in Melbourne or Delhi, this is the 35-year-old's first Commonwealth Games. But he is a two-time World Championship medallist as well as a two-time Olympian, whose wife, Gemma Gibbons, secured Briton's first Olympic judo medal for 12 years at London 2012.

She will be representing England in Glasgow.

Judo player Euan Burton was announced as the Scottish Flagbearer for Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images


Queen's Baton Relay

07:10
If you are following the Baton around Glasgow today, please tweet your pictures and reaction to @insidethegames!

TwitterIt's the final day of the Queen's Baton Relay in the South of Glasgow. Join us to cheer on the baton. 
- Glasgow Life are thoroughly embracing the Commonwealth Games spirit on the penultimate day of Queen#s Baton action

07:05 And there are unconfirmed reports that insidethegames Olympic and Commonwealth Games historian Philip Barker - yes, he''s back - will be following some of the route first hand later on.

06:58 It will also visit Hampden Park, the Bellahouston Walled Garden, Ibrox, Cardonald Library and the Queen's Park Amphitheatre, before an evening celebration at the Queen's Park Recreation Ground.

06:50 Today's journey will begin in 25 minutes time as, carried by Glasgow-based elite mountain bike racer Robert Wardell, the Baton will travel by mountain bike at the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike trails. 

That is the venue where the Glasgow 2014 mountain-biking competition will take place, in exactly one week from now (July 29).

06:38 Since being launched at Buckingham Palace last October, the Queen's Baton Relay has travelled for 286 days on a 190,000-kilometre journey spanning 70 nations and territories.

But at early-a-clock on Sunday morning, it finally arrived in Glasgow!

Since then it has been on a celebratory journey around the host city taking in iconic landmarks, not to mention innovative modes of transport, before it reaches Celtic Park for the Opening Ceremony tomorrow evening.

A zip-wire formed part of the travel plans for the Queen's Baton Relay across Glasgow yesterday ©Getty Images

Glasgow 2014 dedicated section

06:26 You can also check out our all new picture gallery as the teams arrive in Glasgow.

06:19 The Opening Ceremony of the Games may not take place until tomorrow, but we are going to here throughout the day, providing updates on all things Games related and previewing the sport and other goings-on in Scotland's second city today, and over the next 12 days.

This will happen alongside our coverage, from our five-man team on the ground, in the dedicated Glasgow 2014 section of our website. 

And it feels particularly exciting for us that these Games are just one day away, because insidethegames has been covering Glasgow 2014, in one form or another, since the city launched its bid in 2005.

insidethegames LIVE from Glasgow

06:13 And we can swap our vodka and caviar for whisky and haggis, as this time we are in Scotland.

06:05 A lot has happened in the world over the last 128 days - and until a certain Northern Irish golfer won the British Open on Sunday, not much of it has been positive if you are a British sports fan. But after a long, long time since the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, the insidethegames live blog is back for another pulsating festival of sport.

I hope you are as excited as we are!

06:00 Hello and welcome to insidethegames' exclusive daily update from the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
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