Commonwealth Games 2018: Program clanger puts England as in Africa

Mary Kom will be leading the Indian women's boxing contingent

Mary Kom will be leading the Indian women's boxing contingent

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall officially launched the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on Australia's Gold Coast.

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The opening ceremony at the fully-packed 35,000-seat Carrara Stadium was beamed to an estimated 1.5 billion television audience, and viewers were treated to a spectacular showpiece despite a sudden and brief downpour minutes before the programme began.

But David Zolkwer, the artistic director, sought to place indigenous communities at the heart of an opening ceremony which he meant to convey a message of "how we are alike and what we share - rather than on what sets us apart".

Kaysee Teeroovengadum quit on Tuesday, one day before the Games opening ceremony, after accusations of inappropriate "touching" were made against him by a female member of the Mauritian team.

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Organisers insist the Games, which started life as the British Empire Games in 1930, are still "relevant" in the modern world, pointing to the move to an equal number of men's and women's medal events.

The Games will continue for 12 days in Australia with para-athletes also included in the same schedule.

The 140-minute ceremony kicked off late in front of a 35,000-strong worldwide crowd - some of whom had paid up to $495 for tickets. The triathlete Alistair Brownlee led Team England into a parade of athletes that lasted more than an hour.

Paisley squash player Kevin Moran plays in the singles event in Gold Coast and will be joined in the mixed doubles by Lisa Aitken.

The team management is hopeful that the side can finish within the top three in the overall medals tally and have an improved haul than in Glasgow 2014.

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But Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party that is part of Mr Netanyahu's governing coalition, condemned the plan. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Canada, Italy and Germany as some of the nations that will take in the migrants.

Among the VIPs in attendance were Prince Charles and his wife Camilla and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia's cycling team are expected to star in the track events. Dressed in a glittering blue jumpsuit, she belted out Welcome to Earth.

A huge inflatable whale floated above the stadium as the ceremony drew towards a close.

"The Queensland Police Service respects the right of people to protest lawfully and peacefully in Queensland but will not tolerate disruptive behaviour during the Commonwealth Games and associated events".

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