By Tom Degun in Guadalajara

Mike Fennell_head_and_shouldersOctober 24 - Mike Fennell (pictured), President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), claimed he would be happy to see the 2018 Commonwealth Games go to either Australia's Gold Coast or Hambantota in Sri Lanka because he feels both bidding candidates could host an exceptional competition.

Delegates from the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will gather to cast one vote each at the CGF General Assembly on November 11 in St Kitts and Nevis to determine which of the two cities will host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Fennell will announce the result of the vote to the world at the St Kitts Marriott Resort at exactly 6pm local time, but the 76-year-old Jamaican says he has no preference on who he wants to emerge victorious.

"Both Gold Coast and Hambantota have put forward such fantastic bids in this latest race," Fennell told insidethegames here, where he is attending the Pan American Games.

"They are very different in terms of concept and approach but they are certainly two very, very exciting bids.

"I would be delighted to see the 2018 Commonwealth Games go to either Gold Coast or Hambantota because I feel they could both stage fantastic competitions."

Following the announcement at the conclusion of the General Assembly, Fennell will stand down as CGF President following a successful 17 years in charge to become a life vice-president of the organisation.

tunku imran_in_gold_coast_24-10-11
Malaysia's Prince Tunku Imran (pictured far right with other CGF Executive Board members at the Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium), currently a CGF vice-president, will take over from Fennell as President after he was the only candidate to put himself forward for the position.

But Fennell said the fact that two such strong bidders are vying for the 2018 competition shows just how far the Commonwealth Games has come in his reign, as it was previously a one-horse race before he took charge.

"I feel very happy that the Commonwealth Games has reached a stage where we can attract two superb bids like these," he said.

"They are both very professionally put together and both very focused on promoting the values of the Commonwealth Games and enhancing the Commonwealth Games Movement.

"I think it is excellent.

"Ultimately it is up to our 71 member nations and territories to decide on where the event will be held but I will be happy whatever the outcome because they are both highly competent to put on the Commonwealth Games."

To read Mike Fennell's exclusive interview with insidethegames click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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