By Tom Degun in New Delhi
October 10 - Hosting the Commonwealth Games has dramatically increased India’s chances of winning the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to Chef de Mission Bhubaneswar Kalita.
Bhubaneswar said hosting the Delhi Games had been a huge learning curve for India and one that stands them in good stead to host an Olympic Games in the future.
"We have learnt very big lessons by hosting a big Games like this," he added.
"I can say that having the Commonwealth Games here in India is very good for our country in the long term and will definitely be a big step forward to hosting an Olympic Games in India in the future."
The 2010 Games faced a series of problems in the build-up to the competition with complaints about filthy conditions in the Athletes’ Village, a bridge collapse outside the main stadium and security fears over a shooting at a tourist site.
Things have not improved dramatically, with a lack of spectators at venues due to ticketing problems and swimmers falling ill and blaming dirty water at the practice pool making international headlines.
Bhubaneswar said the home crowd is inspiring India to huge success and predicted his country will secure their highest medal total at the Commonwealth Games.
India have already won 26 golds to surpass the 22 they won in Melbourne four years ago and they now require just five more to beat their record of 30 in Manchester in 2002.
"Our athletes have been inspired to many victories by the home support and we have done very well," said Bhubaneswar.
"I am sure we will continue to do well and beat our record."
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