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2 December, 2019 01:15:32 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 December, 2019 11:47:32 AM
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Curtain rises on SA Games

Athletes to battle it out for 317 gold medals
SPORTS REPORTER, Dhaka
Curtain rises on SA Games
Bangladeshi athletes and officials jubilantly take part in a march-past as part of the gala opening of XIII SA Games at Dasarath Stadium in Kathmandu yesterday. BOA Photo

The gala opening ceremony of the XIII SA Games was staged at the Dasarath Stadium, Kathmandu, yesterday (Sunday) evening with some 10,000 performers and around 3,000 athletes, including officials, from seven South Asian nations.

The official opening of the ‘Olympics’ of the South Asian region started with a brief laser show. Around 8,000 artistes and performers lit up the stadium during the opening ceremony. Then athletes and officials took part in a march past, with previous SA Games Bangladesh double gold medallist Mahfuza Akhter bearing the national flag of Bangladesh. Then came a two-minute torch relay; the SAOC flag was taken to the march past before being hoisted. Four-time South Asian gold medallist and Olympian taekwondo athlete Deepak Bista lit the flame after a torch relay from Olympians Baikuntha Manandhar, Rajendra Bhandari, Nayana Shakya, Umesh Maskey and Debu Thapa.

Nepalese taekwondo player Ayasha Shakya took oath on behalf of athletes, while international badminton referee Deepak Thapa did it on behalf of all the judges and referees. The opening ceremony also featured the SA Games song by renowned singers Kunti Moktan, Ananda Karki, Satya Raj Acharya and Indira Joshi, among others, while Nepal APF performers displayed the names of the seven participating nations through mass calisthenics. Nepal’s president Bidya Devi Bhandari declared the 10-day Games open at a packed Dasarath Stadium, with 25,000 spectators looking on, and this is the third occasion that Nepal is hosting the regional sports extravaganza.

The Games will offer a total of 1,115 medals—317 gold, 317 silver and 481 bronze—with swimming being at the top (with 38 gold medals). Athletics is offering 36 gold medals, while taekwondo has 29. Of the 27 sports disciplines included in the SA Games, paragliding was cancelled after the sport failed to get a minimum of three teams.  However, volleyball and badminton began before the official opening from November 27 and 30 respectively. Bangladesh’s women’s team qualified for the semi-finals, while the men’s team—after losing its last group match to Pakistan—will now face Sri Lanka for the bronze medal.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh women’s badminton team started its campaign with a dismal show. It has already been eliminated from the team event after all three shuttlers—Elina, Shapla and Bristi—suffered defeats to their opponents, the hosts, yesterday. Shapla Akhter was the first one to suffer defeat after leading the first game 21-18. Bangladesh’s number one shuttler conceded defeat in the consecutive second and third sets (15-21 and 17-21). Elina and Brishti also went down after fighting very closely against their respective Nepalese opponents. Elina conceded defeat to Rashila Gurung (by 28-26 and 21-19) and Brishti also lost very closely to Jessica Gurung by 21-17 and 22-20.

IK

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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