There was a good deal of outrage and much throwing of weight around as the Commonwealth Games action got under way yesterday. The trouble was, when it came to the pre-tournament formalities in boxing, the weight was all a bit imprecise. The official weigh-in descended into farce and ultimately into postponement after fighters were told they were up to two kilograms heavier than they actually were.
Many rushed off to the sauna or the running track in a desperate attempt to shed pounds and avoid disqualification. Only when a 50kg weight from the boxing gym produced a 51.4kg reading on the affected scales did organisers agree to stop the procedure. Boxers will now weigh in on the morning of the day they are due to compete.
Luke Woods, captain of the Australian team, said: "Boxers drop four or five kilos of their natural weight just to make the division and they are already dehydrated. When they are told they have to lose another kilo on top of that, it is like trying to get blood from a stone and very damaging for the body and puts us at risk."
It also emerged yesterday that the Pakistan weightlifting team had threatened to withdraw from the Games after one of their athletes, Shuja-ud-Din-Malik, had been denied the flag-bearing duties at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday by the country's chef de mission, Muhammad Ali Shah, who proceeded to lead the march-past himself. The Pakistan Olympic Association had to intervene, promising "proper action" against the errant official.
At the sparsely attended venues across the Indian capital, Augustina Nkem Nwaokolo, a 17-year-old Nigerian weightlifter, won the first gold of the Games, prevailing in the 48kg division ahead of Indians Sukhen Dey and Sandhya Rani. England's men's artistic gymnastics team took silver behind Australia.
1. Australia: 4 Gold, 2 Silver, 0 Bronze: 6
2. Canada: 1 Gold, 0 Silver, 3 Bronze: 4
3. South Africa: 1 Gold, 0 Silver, 1 Bronze: 2
4. Nigeria: 1 Gold, 0 Silver, 0 Bronze: 1
5. England: 0 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze: 4
6. India: 0 Gold, 1 Silver, 1, Bronze: 2
7. Wales: 0 Gold, 1 Silver, 0 Bronze: 1
8. Scotland: 0 Gold, 0 Silver, 1 Bronze: 1
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