By Tom Degun in the Gold Coast

Mike_Hooper_and_Louise_Martin_Gold_Coast_Evaluation_Commission_June_20_2011June 20 - Mark Stockwell, the chairman of Gold Coast 2018, has expressed his confidence that the Australian city will pass the important technical examination from the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Evaluation Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin (pictured right) and which started here today, with flying colours.

The Commission will look at all the proposed competition and principal non-competition sites, as well as conducting a series of detailed meetings to view all aspects of the candidature.

The Commission will then conduct an inspection of the Gold Coast's only 2018 Commonwealth Games rivals Hambantota of Sri Lanka next week from June 27-30 before producing a final Evaluation report for voting delegates which is due to be published in September.

The report is likely to play a crucial role in deciding where the 2018 Commonwealth Games are staged when the vote for them takes place at the GCF General Assembly on November 11 in St Kitts and Nevis.

Stockwell, who won three medals in freestyle swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, feels his city will hugely impress the Commission.

"This visit gives us a good opportunity to show the CGF that all the technical elements of our plan to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games are in place and I am looking forward to seeing if they can find anything wrong with our bid," he told insidethegames.

"Obviously we are facing the Commission before Hambantota but I don't think that provides any advantage or disadvantage at all.

"The Commission are looking at a series of technical requirements and you either comply or you don't comply.

"We are very aware of Hambantota and I am sure they are going to put on a very good presentation when the Commission visits them next week because they have a strong team in place but we are just playing to our own strengths and focusing on ourselves and we hope that will be good enough."

Day one of the CGF Evaluation Commission visit to the Gold Coast will be largely be made up of meetings and presentations with high profile individuals such as Queensland Premier Anna Bligh (pictured) and Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke.

The venue tours are set to take place later on in the week with the highlight likely to be the Commission's visit to the Carrara Stadium, which is set to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as the athletics event if the Gold Coast is awarded the 2018 Games.

The oval-shaped stadium underwent a major redevelopment at a cost of $144.2 million (£93.76 million) before being reopened last month and while it only has a capacity of 25,000, it will be enhanced by the provision of temporary seating to provide space for 40,000 spectators for a potential 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"We believe we have everything in place to host a fantastic Commonwealth Games," said Bligh at a press conference that marked the official start of the Commission visit.

"Our hope is that the Commission will leave here with a clear vision of how successful a 2018 Commonwealth Games would be in the Gold Coast."

Martin refused to be drawn on making comparisons between the Gold Coast and Hambantota.

"Our job is to produce a technical report that examines each city against Games requirements, we are not looking to make direct comparison between the two cities," she said.

"We have two highly committed bid organisations in this process and we congratulate them both on making it to this stage of the bidding process.

CGF chief executive Mike Hooper, one of the members of the five-person Commission, added: "We are here for a technical evaluation of each of the bids, any other considerations, geopolitical or otherwise, are matters for our members."

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