By Tom Degun in the Gold Coast

Gold_Coast_Surfers_ParadiseJune 19 - Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Mike Fennell has handed a timely boost to the Gold Coast ahead of their formal inspection from the Evaluation Commission by revealing that a policy of rotation will play no part in deciding where the 2018 event is staged.

The Australian coastal city, who are fighting rivals Hambantota of Sri Lanka for the right to stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games, are considered favourites in the bid race with the CGF Evaluation Commission, chaired Scotland's Louise Martin, set to begin their official four-day inspection of the Gold Coast tomorrow, before visiting Hambantota from June 27-30.

A potential stumbling block for the Gold Coast is that Australia has hosted the Commonwealth Games four times before, most recently in Melbourne in 2006, while the event has never been to Sri Lanka.

But Fennell claimed that there is no policy of rotation concerning the awarding of the event and claimed that the 2018 Commonwealth Games will simply be awarded to the best city with the vote on the host city to take place at the GCF General Assembly on November 11 in St Kitts and Nevis.

"We do not have a policy of rotation for the Commonwealth Games," the CGF President told insidethegames.

"It simply doesn't work.

"You have to choose the best city and the best location that will guarantee the best conditions for the athletes of the Commonwealth because we are all working for the athletes and we want to give them the best facilities and the best conditions to perform.

"When the delegates vote at our Assembly in November, they will put emotion aside and look at each bid objectively.

"They will be looking at what both cities offer in terms of facilities, infrastructure and guarantees that of how the Commonwealth Games can be properly presented to the world.

"Rotation doesn't come into this."

Mark_Stockwell_in_front_of_Queensland_logoThe Gold Coast will in fact be keen to discuss the highly successful Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, which earned more in sponsorship revenue than the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Paralympics, although the Gold Coast Bid Committee, chaired by Los Angeles 1984 triple swimming Olympic medallist Mark Stockwell (pictured), have reiterated that Gold Coast would provide a different kind of Games to any of the previous events staged in Australia.

Fennell added that he agrees with such comments.

"Even if you do want to discuss rotation, Hambantota has no advantage over the Gold Coast because the Gold Coast is a part of Australia that has never hosted the Commonwealth Games before," he said.

"It is a virgin territory, just like Hambantota, and will provide a brand new Commonwealth Games."

Meanwhile the Gold Coast has unveiled a a top team for the CGF Evaluation Commission when the official inspection begins.

Premier Anna Bligh, Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson and Australian cycling Olympic champion Sarah Carrigan are among those who will present to Martin and her team and Gold Coast 2018 chief executive Mark Peters said he is excited to have such a strong line-up in place for the visit.

"We are very grateful that all of these high-calibre people have agreed to come along to make a case for the bid," he said.

"This city is an event city.

"It hosts 11 million people here ever year.

"We are event ready."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
June 2011: Commonwealth Games Evaluation Commission arrive to inspect Gold Coast 2018
June 2011: Successful 2018 Commonwealth Games bid would create over 30,000 new jobs it is claimed
June 2011: Gold Coast to host US swimming team before World Championships
June 2011: I know strengths and weaknesses of rival but want to focus solely on the Gold Coast, claims Stockwell
May 2011: Exclusive - Gold Coast 2018 would "help image of Commonwealth Games" claims Mayor