Saturday, February 6, 2016

12th South Asian Games inaugurated with fanfare

Guwahati, February 5, 2016: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the 12th South Asian Games, 2016 in a glittering ceremony at the Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati before a rapturous and capacity crowd . A host of dignitaries were present on the occasion including, the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (IC), Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Meghalaya Mukul Sangma, the Governors of Assam and Meghalaya , the Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan among others.

Declaring the Games open, Prime Minister Modi, welcomed all participants. Espousing on the theme of ‘Atithi Devo Bhabo’, he urged all to enjoy the hospitality and scenic beauty of the North East and compete with togetherness, teamwork and talent. The Prime Minister further said that his vision for South Asia is the same with his vision for India -- that is, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. Describing the Games as a springboard for the overall development of the North East India, India as a whole and the South East Asia, he asked all to play for Peace, Prosperity and Progress. He also said that 21% population of the world resides in South East Asia contributing 9% of the world economy. He said that this Game will further strengthen cooperation among the SAARC countries.

The inauguration ceremony was started by the team parade. The participating nations, decked out in their traditional dresses made their way into the ground amidst huge cheers from the packed audience. Each participating nations carried waters from one of their major rivers and the Indian Ocean. The waters were later merged into the Brahmaputra, symbolizing the confluence of the nations and the way forward in harmony and togetherness.

The Flame of the 12th South Asian Games was brought into the grounds by Gagan Nareng and was relayed through by eminent sport personalities including Monalisa Mehta, Bhogeshwar Baruah, Anju Bobby Goerge , Krishna Poonia and Rani Nagpal. Baichung Bhutia did the final lap and lit the digital flames in the centre of the ground.

The cultural show, which followed the flame lighting ceremony, was a glittering spectacle showcasing the confluence of the digital and the traditional. Immersing the grounds in a show of vivid colours and lights, the show started with the theme song of the Games, ‘Ai Prithibi Ek Krirangan’. The song originally composed by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, it was performed by artists’ Mayukh Hazarika, Lou Majao and others and spreads the message of peace and harmony through sports. It was followed by a colourful display of the traditional dances of the region and song performances by artists like Zubin Garg, Angaraag Mahanta and Nahid Afrin.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs (IC), Sarbanada Sonowal welcomed all participants to the states of Assam and Meghalaya and spoke on the huge opportunity the Games 
represented for the North East. Chief Minister of Assam Shri Tarun Gogoi, compared the mascot Tikhor to the spirit of the Games and espoused all to imbibe the values represented by him. Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mukul Sangma, echoing the same sentiments stated that the North East comprises of a great talent pool of sports and asked all participants to indulge in the distinct lifestyle and culture the region represents.

The 12th South Asian Games, 2016 is the first international multi-sporting mega event in the North Eastern region. Athletes from eight member countries namely – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be participating. Around 3500 athletes and sports officials from 8 countries are participating in the biggest ever sporting spectacle in the North East India. 

Press release

Jwala Gutta and K Srikanth confident for the 12th South Asian Games

New Delhi, February 5, 2016: The 12th South Asian Games commencing today at Guwahati, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) announced Jwala Gutta as the captain of the Indian Women Badminton team while K Srikanth will be leading the Indian Men Badminton team to be held at Shillong from 6th to 10th February 2016.

Speaking on the announcement, Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta, President, Badminton Association of India said “We are confident of all the players who will be playing and I am sure that all medals in the Badminton category will be bagged by the Indian team. I wish them Good Luck for the upcoming clashes”.

Speaking on the announcement Jwala Gutta said: “The Indian players have been a force to reckon with in recent times and we are confident of a clean sweep during the 12th South Asian Games. All the players are in form and we are excited about the upcoming clashes. Personally I have been feeling myself to be in good form and will play as per the game plan that I have put in place”.

Commenting on the upcoming clashes, K Srikanth said: “We are a strong team and we will go all out for a win. The boys are looking forward to the games ahead and if all goes to plan we will surely win all our matches and the medals.  While the boys are confident, we will not allow it to take things for granted and will fight till the winning point”.

The Indian team will reach Shillong today (5th February), post that they will go for their practice between 5.00 to 6.00 p.m at SAI North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) campus, Shillong.

The 11th South Asian Games under the Badminton Category was ruled by the Indian players as they won all 7 gold medals within both Men and Women events, the players will aim to achieve the same feat in the upcoming 12th South Asian Games.

Press release