Sydney, Oct 4 : Australia's Gold Coast is almost certain to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 after Sri Lanka failed to make a pitch to the 71-member Commonwealth Games Federation at its meeting in India, the host of this year's games.
"It's very strange," Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke said Monday. "I've never heard of that before."
Clarke, a former Olympic runner and world record holder, was commenting on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision not to lobby for Hambantota.
The Sri Lankan port city is the only other 2018 contestant after the withdrawal of Nigeria earlier this year.
Clarke, asked by Australian national broadcaster ABC whether the Gold Coast was now assured of being host, said the Sri Lankan no-show had made Australia the frontrunner.
"It certainly puts us in a better light than Sri Lanka," Clarke said.
The Queensland state government is promising financial support for the Gold Coast, which is 75 km south of Brisbane. The federal government is also promising millions of dollars in assistance.
Australia hosted the Games in Sydney in 1938, in Perth in 1962, in Brisbane in 1982 and in Melbourne in 2006.
Delhi is hosting the games this month. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, will be the venue in 2014 and the successful bidder for 2018 will be announced in November 2011.(DPA)
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