MAKING A POINT: Demonstrators attempting to highlight the plight of Australia’s indigenous people dubbed the Commonwealth Games the “Stolenwealth Games” yesterday.
The Victorian state branch of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation used 1.82m high letters spelling out the words “Stolenwealth Games” on a pedestrian bridge across the Yarra River near the busy Flinders Street railway station.
Organisers hoped the silent demonstration will encourage Australians and international visitors in Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games to urge leaders to address a range of issues affecting the nation’s aboriginal population, including land rights, poverty, racism and health. – AP
CARRYING THE FLAG: Tony Ally, a 32-year diver, will carry England’s flag into tomorrow’s opening
ceremony. Competing in his fifth Commonwealth Games, Ally won a bronze in Kuala Lumpur 1998 and two silvers in Manchester 2002.
“It was a great surprise when I was told ... leading the England team into the stadium is going to send shivers up my spine,” said Ally, who has also competed at three Olympics.
Wheelchair athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson, 36, will be the Wales team flag bearer. Grey-Thompson, who is the Wales team captain, has won 16 Paralympics medals, 11 of them gold. In a wheelchair since the age of seven due to spina bifida, Grey-Thompson also has won six London Marathon titles. – AP
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY: They have only got 26 athletes at the Commonwealth Games but Norfolk Island hope to win a medal or two.
“We’re just coming to compete, but you never know,” said chef-de-mission Mal Tarrant.
Competitors from the island nation of 1,800 north of New Zealand will take part in squash, shooting and lawn bowls.
Milt Bradley, a four-time Commonwealth Games competitor in clay target shooting, will carry the Norfolk Island flag at the opening ceremony. – AP
SHOOTING STARS: Two days away from the opening ceremony, Indian competitors have won two of the warm-up matches at the Melbourne International Shooting Club. Gagan Narang won the men’s 10m air rifle and Tejaswini Sawant the women’s 25m pistol. Michael Gault of England, who has 10 Commonwealth Games medals, won the 50m pistol. – AP
UNDER CONSIDERATION: Archery, tennis, and snooker and billiards are under consideration for inclusion in the 2010 Games in New Delhi. Organisers are still working on the programme but confirmed that the inclusion of the three sports was being discussed. – Reuters