Chennai: Billy Brennen and Brian Noble, president and secretary respectively of the Commonwealth Karate Federation, are in the city to study the available infrastructure for the next edition of the championships in 2009.

The All India Karate Federation, headed by ‘Karate’ R. Thiagarajan, had won the bid to stage the next Commonwealth championships in the city at the last meeting held in Edinburgh.

At a media interaction on Saturday, the two chief officials of CKF outlined the requirements for staging a high profile event like the Commonwealth championships. Billy Brennen said the delegation was assessing various aspects like accessibility, spectator-friendly ambience, changing rooms, accommodation and transport facilities. The AIKF has proposed to hold the event at the JN Stadium. The CKF officials were optimistic that this metropolis would meet the demands of playing host to a mega event like the Commonwealth Championships.

Billy Brennen visualised that as many as 30 countries, 10 more than the previous edition, would be figuring in next year’s event. The host may have to plan for accommodating 1500 or more competitors.

The CKF President said that there would be 40 gold medals in the elite section and 60 in the club section for men, women and children.

Welcoming the high profile guests, Karti Chidambaram, Chief Patron of AIKF, observed the host would leave no stone unturned to make the first ever Commonwealth Championships in India successful. He added that Chennai, which had hosted several important events like the SAF Games, Champions Trophy, and ATP events, would definitely rise to the occasion to meet all the norms set by the CKF.

Mr. Karti Chidambaram also pointed out the rising stature of India in international karate and referred to the two gold and five bronze medals won by the participants in the last championships in Scotland. The Indian teams had taken part in competitions at Istanbul and Greece, and is preparing for the next World Championships at Tokyo.

‘Karate’ R.Thiagarajan, who was elected as a Vice-President of CKF at Scotland, said the AKFI would go all out to find the resources to organise the event.

Mr. P.R. Ramesh, Secretary, AIKF, proposed a vote of thanks.

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