A long shot at glory
The big story at the start of these Commonwealths was all about the athletes who didn't want to come to Delhi. So, as the Games draw to an end, I thought I'd track down a couple who couldn't have done more to get here.
Meet Carlos and Rico Yon, two shooters from St Helena. If you're wondering where St Helena is, you're not alone. It is one of the most isolated islands in the world, a droplet of cartographer's ink in the vast empty spaces of the southern Atlantic Ocean.
The nearest large land mass is 1200 miles away, the nearest inhabited island the volcanic bump of Ascension, 810 miles to the north-west. The next nearest neighbours - all 300 of them - are on Tristan da Cunha, 1510 miles to the south.
There are just over 4000 people on St Helena. And there is currently no airstrip, meaning that getting anywhere else - let alone India - takes a very, very long time indeed.
"It took us 33 days," says 44-year-old Carlos, without a hint of frustration. "Our only link to the outside world is a boat called RMS St Helena. We set off for Cape Town on 26 August."
I ask 18-year-old Rico how often the boat stops by. "Pretty often," he tells me shyly. "About once every six weeks."
The four-man team - from the smallest of all 71 nations at these Games - spent five days at sea on the first leg of their journey. Had the trade winds not been so kind, it could have been a lot longer.
"The RMS is very nice - it's not very big, but they have skittles, and cricket on deck, and bingo," says Carlos, his accent a curious mix of South African, Polynesian and American.
"We had a pretty good time on the ship. We played a lot of cards. Cards is a very important game in St Helena - there's a game called Yuka that's played by six people - so there was a lot of banging on tables."
So long did it take the team to travel to India that all four have celebrated birthdays since leaving the island's capital Jamestown.
"Two of us had birthdays at sea," says Carlos. "The captain was real kind and made two cakes, and gave us cards."
St Helena, it goes without saying, has a rather different vibe to Delhi, and this is only the second time Rico has left the island. The other time was to go to Ascension, population: 1,000.
So what's it like coming from a volcanic rock measuring roughly 10 by five miles to a teeming, frantic city of 17 million people?
"Everything is more chill-out at home," he says with magnificent understatement. "Here it's all so fast. People move around you so fast."
We are standing in the relative haven of Pragati Maidan, a series of tree-lined squares in the comparative peace of New Delhi. Carlos looks around with a beautifully bemused expression on his face.
"This place is really hectic," he says, as honks from passing tuk-tuks and taxis fill the air. "I find it very busy compared to St Helena. The speed limit at home is 30 miles an hour maximum, and we don't have cars like here. So when you're talking about noise - there's so much of it here."
He shakes his head. "I'm feeling a little worn down. Most days I've had a headache and needed to take a nap. My heart-rate has increased a bit, and I'm having problems controlling the rifle. Normally it will just stay where I've put it, but here it keeps bouncing around."
If it sounds a little reminiscent of the tale of town mouse and country mouse, do not think for a moment that the chaps would have wanted to be anywhere else this past two weeks.
"It's an honour to be here," Carlos says emphatically. "Just taking part in an event of this scale - it's an honour for me to represent St Helena here.
"We're not allowed to compete at the Olympics. This is as high as we can ever go. Apart from the Island Games and the Commonwealth Games, we don't get to take part in any other competitions. We are so isolated that the only competition we have is between the two rival clubs on the island."
Commonwealth success has made national heroes of shooters such as India's Gagan Narang (pictured) and Scotland's John Hammond. Photo: AFP
The team, all shooters, can only wonder at the resources at the disposal of their rivals. Rico has never before seen a 50 metre firing range, let alone practised on one, while Carlos used one for the first time only last year. There are no coaches on the island, and not many guns. Carlos, a keen amateur for years, finally got a rifle of his own last year. It was a second-hand one.
"It was difficult to practise on the way over too. Guns are prohibited on the RMS. They used to have some clay pigeon shooting on deck at one time, but not any more.
"We would like to take a gold medal home with us. But under the circumstances you have to face reality. We will take part, enjoy ourselves and make sure we have good time with everyone."
Enjoy themselves they do. The day after we meet, Carlos and Rico compete in the 50m pairs prone rifle. They finish 18th out of 19. That only the pair from Antigua and Barbuda are behind them does little to diminish their obvious pride.
"If Rico had proper training and a coach from the UK, he would be in good shape by the time the next Games come round. Unfortunately we don't have the sort of money for that.
"Fortunately for us this time, Delhi came up with the money to send us to these Commonwealth Games. Even for the Island Games we struggle to raise enough money to send a team."
St Helena's most famous inhabitant was Napoleon Bonaparte, exiled there by the British with the knowledge that a rescue attempt would only have been slightly harder if he had been imprisoned on the moon.
Rico, out in the wide world for the first time, is enjoying his own tiny window of wider fame.
"There aren't many kids my age at home - maybe 100. But they say they'll be watching out for me on satellite TV."
"He's a celebrity now" says Carlos admiringly, "because he's getting bombarded on Facebook by his friends and people back home."
What will they take back with them from Delhi? Carlos fingers the many badges of national flags and team emblems pinned to the lanyard around his neck
"It has been wonderful to meet so many people from so many different countries. And I will never forget what we have seen here. It's been very, very hot, so I'll remember that also."
There is another chorus of frantic beeps from the road running past the Maidan.
"Also, I want to take a tuk-tuk home. It's incredible how many people they can get in those things. That is an amazing little vehicle."