NEW DELHI (AFP) India raced on Saturday to make last-minute preparations for the Delhi Commonwealth Games with the start just a day away, struggling to reverse a tide of bad publicity. Organisers promised a Bollywood-inspired opening extravaganza on Sunday with thousands of singers and dancers showcasing Indias rich history and culture with dazzling sound-and-light effects. Were sure the Games will be a huge success, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after inspecting sites. Were working around the clock. But with fears militants might attack the quadrennial competition, the Indian capital has been blanketed by massive security with 17,000 paramilitary troopers reinforcing 80,000 police. Security forces lined roads leading to high-walled stadiums encircled by barbed wire fences, armed guards were posted behind sandbag positions and sentries watched from watchtowers. Cameras monitored public areas. Since 2008, when Pakistan-based Islamist militants killed 166 people in a 60-hour assault in Mumbai, India has been fearful the Games, which feature 71 nations and territories formerly belonging to the British Empire, could be hit. Delhi police commissioner Y.S. Dadwal promised foolproof security but called the Games a moment of challenge for Delhi with authorities seeking to guard the venues. Every man is on the job 24/7. Most are working and sleeping at the police station, he told a news conference on the eve of the October 3-14 Games. Dadwals comments came as US CIA chief Leon Panetta made a stopover in New Delhi to discuss the Games and regional security threats after visiting Pakistan for talks with the countrys army chief, the Press Trust of India quoted unnamed officials as saying. The Queens baton the Commonwealth equivalent of the Olympic torch made its way around New Delhi under brilliant sunshine on the final leg of its journey before the opening to be attended by Britains Prince Charles and Indias President Pratibha Patil. India was deeply embarrassed by revelations about rampant corruption in the lead-up to the Games the event is hugely over budget and expected to total at least six billion dollars, making it the costliest ever and filthy conditions in the athletes village. By Saturday, thousands of athletes had arrived and the last-ditch sprint to clean up the village was paying off. The venues are outstanding and were really looking forward to competing there, Wales chef de mission Chris Jenkins told reporters. Organisers were expecting another large contingent of athletes to arrive Saturday. We expect 450 more athletes and officials to fly to New Delhi today and our estimate is the final figure will touch 6,700, a Games spokesman told AFP. The figure would top the 2006 Games in Melbourne which drew 5,766 participants, making it the largest Commonwealth sporting event ever. Athletes said they wanted to put the controversies behind them and focus on doing their best at the Games that India which seeks to rival China as a global player hoped would allow the nation to show off as a rising power. There are so many fantastic athletes here at these Commonwealth Games and being a part of that is such a big thrill, said Australian netball captain Sharelle McMahon. Some high-profile athletes have withdrawn due to health and security fears. Foreign spectators will also be far fewer than the 100,000 organisers had hoped for with worries about an outbreak of dengue fever a potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease the shambolic preparations and fear of militant attacks deterring many. But Mike Andrews, a chef who travelled from London, said he planned to enjoy the Games and had even purchased a vuvuzela horn whose low-pitched bellow drove many to distraction at the soccer World Cup in South Africa. I want to watch some good sports, he said.