Even three months ago, it was uncertain whether they could host the 13th edition of South Asian Games, but clearing all doubts, the Himalayan nation is all set to raise the curtain of the region’s biggest multi-sports extravaganza Sunday
The debris of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal are still lying around Kathmandu, while the bitter memories continue to linger in the minds of the people of the hilly nation.
The country is still recovering from the damages of thousands of buildings, along with tremendous economic losses.
Even three months ago, it was uncertain whether they could host the 13th edition of South Asian Games, but clearing all doubts, the Himalayan nation is all set to raise the curtain of the region’s biggest multi-sports extravaganza Sunday.
After being damaged by the devastating earthquake, the main venue of the Games, Dasharath Rangasala Stadium is ready for the “colorful” opening ceremony following years of renovation works completed only a few days ago.
The preparation and beautification were still going on in full swing in and around the venue till Saturday night.
There were some mild complaints of “disorganization” and not having the athletes village, but it is nothing new during the mega events among the countries of this region.
Left-handed batsman Nazmul Hossain Shanto was named captain as the @BCBtigers Friday announced a star-studded 15-member U-23 national squad for the 13th edition of the South Asian Games, scheduled to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal.https://t.co/HwNFpuen0q#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) November 29, 2019
The hospitality of the host nation however, earned praises all around.
Last time when Nepal hosted the SAG in 1999, there were only 12 disciplines, which has now increased to 26 (excluding beach volleyball).
Kathmandu had hosted all the events while this time around, three cities including Pokhara and Janakpur will join the capital.
Janakpur will host only wrestling events while Pokhara will hold women’s football and cricket, archery, badminton, handball, triathlon, beach volleyball and weightlifting.
Rest of the events will be held in Kathmandu.
Ramesh Kumar Silwal, member secretary of Nepal Olympic Committee, informed Saturday that most of the venues (around 15) were newly built for the Games, while all venues have been renovated.
He admitted it was “challenging” to prepare all those venues after the earthquake.
Some of the venues, including the Satdobato Swimming Complex, are not ready yet.
The mascot of the Games, blackbuck, also known as the Indian antelope, was seen in many places of Kathmandu, while the pigeon in the logo, representing peace, can be found in the seven countries of south Asia.
Silwal also informed that along with the main attractions of the opening ceremony – performances showcasing Nepalese culture and tradition - there will also be the reflections of the seven countries.
The opening ceremony, participated by around 15,000 people, would begin at 5pm and last three hours and 14 minutes.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari will inaugurate the Games.