Commonwealth Youth Games to open in Samoa

The Commonwealth Youth Games will officially open in Apia this evening.

Preparations for the week-long event have been praised by organisers, who also backed the Samoan government's decision to deny entry for athletes from Sierra Leone.

The delegation from Sierra Leone was denied entry visas over Ebola virus fears.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says it's the responsibility of his government to put safety first for the up to 2,000 athletes participating in the Youth Games.

Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg is confident Samoa will host a memorable Games with a lasting legacy.

"From an event standpoint, there's no question that there are infrastructure aspects of venues that have been enhanced - in terms of new stadia, the swimming pool and so forth - that will be used for world class competition. The fact that you're going to have this realisation among Samoans that we can pull these types of events off, so I think people have a much much greater appreciation for Polynesian culture, Samoan culture but also the fact that Samoa's going to be a fantastic world class host."

The 67 competing nations will be welcomed at tonight's opening ceremony at Apia Park.

Seven of the nine sports then begin competition on Monday.