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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh Games begins

Update : 19 Apr 2013, 05:00 PM

The much-awaited moment finally comes to an end as the 8th Bangladesh Games, the biggest domestic extravaganza of the country, begins tomorrow (Saturday) with a much-hyped star-studded opening ceremony at the c Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS).

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to formally inaugurate the games.

The opening ceremony will be shown live on state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV), with special coverage of the various sporting events that are part of the games. 

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) is responsible for organising the event, for which preparations were made over months. The inaugural ceremony will include fireworks, themed cultural performances, along with introductions to the national teams taking part, and the highlight of the evening that will signal the start of the 8th Bangaldesh Games - lighting of the torch. 

An estimated Tk 80m budget was allocated to make the ceremony memorable, with various thematic stages depicting the history and culture of Bangladesh. The cultural performances will incorporate the country's diversity and reflect aspects of rural and urban life, Bangladesh's war of liberation, traditional games and society, and much more. 

In the massive 25, 570 capacity stadium, arrangements have been made for more than 12,000 spectators to watch the opening ceremony for free. Gates open at 4 pm.Shankar Shahjalal will lead the show that includes performances by 600 artists to entertain audiences. 

One of the most anticipated part of the ceremony will be the lighting of the torch by former national hockey player Jummon Lusai. The torch, which stands at the centre of the grounds of BNS will be lit by a laser that will transform the torch into a fountain of light for a few dazzling minutes.

Gates will open for the public at 4pm, with chief guest Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina scheduled to enter the stadium at 7pm. She will be welcomed by State Minister for Youth and Sports M Ahad Ali Sarkar and a delegation that includes Army Chief General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan.

After the PM's arrival, singer Rezwana Chowdhury Banna and the musicians of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, along with 100 musicians from Surer Dhara will sing the national anthem. There willl be many more performances and celebrities to welcome all the atheletes of 100 teams participating in the games. The four and half hour long gala ceremony will conclude with colourful fireworks. 

The motto of this year's Bangladesh Games is "Sports in our Heart," and the mascot for the games is "Squirrel," a symbol of agility and speed. 6855 athletes competing in 31 sporting disciplines scheduled in 356 separate events. They will vie for 2243 medals, out of which there are 699 gold and silver medals each, and 845 bronze ones to win.

Atheletes will be competing in the fields of athletics, archery, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weight lifting, wrestling, chess, cricket, kabaddi, karate, ushu, kho kho, body building, rugby and squash rackets.



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