Glasgow Games set to start

By BBC

About 4,500 athletes from 71 nations will take part in the 20th edition of the Games

Sir Chris Hoy says Glasgow will deliver “the biggest and best Commonwealth Games we’ve ever seen”, ahead of Wednesday’s opening ceremony.

About 4,500 athletes from 71 nations will take part in the 20th edition of the Games, which run until 3 August.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” said Scotland’s six-time Olympic and double Commonwealth champion.

Swimmer Michael Jamieson, a big Scots medal hope, added: “You can already see there’s a buzz around the city.”

The 25-year-old silver medallist from the 2012 Olympics, who is chasing 200m breaststroke gold on the opening day of action on Thursday, said: “It’s known as the friendly Games for a reason. It just has such a great feel about it.”

The reputation of the Commonwealth Games was damaged by the 2010 Games in Delhi, which were plagued by poor ticket sales and problems with venues and accommodation.

Organisers were forced to give away thousands of free tickets after seats remained unsold, but that still could not prevent images of half-empty venues being beamed around the world, but Hoy is confident there will be no repeat in Glasgow.

“We’ve been ready for the last year and a half,” added the former track cyclist, who retired in 2013. “Everyone’s desperate to get started.”

Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh added: “There’s an enormous buzz in Glasgow and that’s just going to continue.