October 19 - The Gold Coast are taking their final opportunity to impress ahead of the vote for the 2018 Commonwealth Games next month as the final voting delegation from Asia arrives in the Australian city tomorrow.
The group consists of representatives from Bangladesh, Jamaica, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The votes of the eight countries could prove crucial to who hosts the 2018 competition with the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories set to cast one vote each at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11 to determine whether Gold Coast or sole rivals Hambantota of Sri Lanka will stage the event.
Gold Coast 2018 bid chairman Mark Stockwell says that the final delegation visit is a crucial component of the city's attempt to secure the Commonwealth Games.
"This is our final opportunity to reinforce the strong and positive Evaluation Commission assessment of Gold Coast City before the announcement of host city on 11 November," said Stockwell.
It is clear that at least one of the delegates on the final inspection of the Gold Coast will vote for Hambantota as Sri Lanka are part of the visit.
Asia are also likely to back their continent's own bidder in Hambantota but Stockwell feels it will be an enlightening visit for all as it coincides with the Armor All Gold Coast 600, one of Australia's largest sporting events.
"The event will boast some pretty fast on track action and aside from the high standard of organisation, which will be very obvious, we will also point out to our visitors the volunteers - all 1,200 of them - who are a vital part of the V8 600 Race and in fact all events on the Gold Coast," added Stockwell.
During their three-day stay, the Asian delegates will enjoy an evening in the rainforest 'Green Cauldron' at Currumbin Sanctuary.
The delegates will also view the city and proposed Game's venues from the air in a helicopter and meet students who are part of the "Adopt a Commonwealth Country Programme".
Delegates from the Caribbean, Americas, Africa, Europe and Oceania have already visited the city to assess its capability to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The announcement of the 2018 Commonwealth Games host city, which will be made by CGF President Mike Fennell of Jamaica, will be shown live on a big screen at Broadwater Parklands in the Gold Coast.
The announcement will take place on the morning of November 12 due to the time difference between St Kitts and Nevis and Australia and the Gold Coast community have been invited to attend.
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