South Asian Games open with colorful and vibrant ceremony

  • December 2, 2019

The 13th edition of South Asian Games officially kicked off yesterday amid an opening ceremony at Dasharath Stadium.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari officially announced the commencement of the tournament at the three-hour programme.

The opening ceremony began with the national anthem followed by the march-past of athletes and officials from seven participating nations. Olympian weightlifter Kamal Bahadur Adhikari carried Nepal’s flag in the march-past led by chef-de-mission Pitamber Timsina.

Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel, Chairman of the main organsing committee and Minister of Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Sunar, President of South Asian Olympic Council and Nepal Olympic Committee Jeevan Ram Shrestha and National Sports Council Member Secretary and SAG Executive Committee Chairman Ramesh Kumar Silwal addressed the gathering before President Bhandari inaugurated the SA Games amidst a huge round of applause.

Olympians Baikuntha Manandhar, Rajendra Bhandari, Nayana Shakya, Umesh Maskey and Debu Thapa took the Olympic Torch around the stadium before the four-time South Asian Games gold medal winning taekwondo player Deepak Bista lit the cauldron. The torch was brought to Kathmandu yesterday morning after a tour of all seven provinces.

After hoisting of the South Asia Olympic Council flag, former national cricket team skipper Paras Khadka and international badminton referee took oath on behalf of athletes and judges, respectively.

A total of 2,715 athletes from seven countries will be competing for 1,115 medals, including 317 gold, in 26 disciplines in the 10-day event.