A colourful finale
COLOMBO: The tenth edition of the South Asian Games ended with a
spectacular closing ceremony at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo yesterday.
Hosts Sri Lanka ended third in the overall medals table with a total
of 37 gold medals, 63 silver and 77 bronze medals.
It was an emotional evening for over 2,500 competitors as well as the
capacity crowd at the stadium as the curtain came down on the
Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara, who was the chief guest at the colourful
ceremony, declared the Games closed before the traditional Olympic fame
In an evening filled with excitement and emotion, the most
eye-catching item was the final fireworks display. That was a treat to
watch as the spectacular fireworks display illuminated the Colombo
skies, signalling the closure of the South Asian version of the
The mighty Indians underlined their sporting supremacy in the region
with a rich haul of 118 gold medals to head the final medal standings,
followed by Pakistan (43) and Sri Lanka (37). More than the winning or
losing, the 20-discipline Games generated an ideal atmosphere to build
peace and unity through sport among youth in South Asia.
They were rivals at competition venue, battling out for medals, but
off the field, they were good buddies.
Great relationships were built during the Games and language was not
a barrier to get their messages across. The members of the South Asian
Olympic family lived in true spirit and harmony during their memorable
two-week stay in Sri Lanka and will be flying back with sweet memories
of Sri Lankan culture and hospitality.
During the final sessions of the closing ceremony, Sri Lanka Olympic
chief Fernando handed over the South Asian Olympic flag to the Olympic
and Sports Ministry officials of Bangladesh, which hosts the next
edition of the Games in Dhaka, 2008.
Adding colour to an exciting evening's proceedings were several
cultural items as well performances by leading Sri Lankan vocalists and