Colourful opening ceremony for South Asian Games:
India rout Lanka in women’s football match
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared open the 11th South
Asian Games here on Friday in a spectacular opening ceremony held at
beautifully decorated, jam-packed Bangladesh Stadium with an impressive
march past of nearly 2,000 athletes and officials from eight nations.
The opening ceremony was watched by a fully packed stadium with the
Mascot - Doel, making appearance from the main gate followed by the
march past of countries in order along with the competitors, Bangladesh,
India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Nepal.
Chaminda Wijekoon, Sri Lanka’s overall captain and the title holder
in the 1,500 metres carried the Lion flag with the first batch of Sri
Football legend of Bangladesh lit the South Asian Games torch.
The Games Mascot ‘Kutumb’ represented the national bird doel (magpie
robin). The oath was taken by the athletes before Runa Laila rendered
the theme song of the South Asian Games. It was the first part of the
133-minute opening ceremony which split into three parts.
Over 7,500 performers from different schools, colleges, Bangladesh
Army and Ansar and VDP displayed riot of colours. The core and the third
part of the ceremony was the aquatic and laser shows which was first of
its kind in the sub-continent.
The opening ceremony was not like the Beijing Olympics Commonwealth
Games or Asian Games as Bangladesh have a lot of limitations. But it was
a memorable one.
Khuena, Sylhet, Rajshahi and Chittagong also staged brief opening
ceremonies in their own style and these cities are fully ready to play
their part in the Games.
Nearly 1,800 athletes from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan,
Maldives, Afghanistan and hosts Bangladesh will compete for 156 Gold
medals in a Games record 23 disciplines.
Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, said
that it is a great pleasure for me to welcome the sportspersons of South
Asian countries in Dhaka for the 11th South Asian Games from today to
I’m certain that it will not only be a memorable event for the
participating athletes and organisers but also a great occasion for
sports loving people of South Asia.
I appreciate the efforts of Bangladesh Olympic Association,
government officials, private organizations and media partners to make
the largest regional sports meet a success. The Games I hope will
greatly help strengthen the bond of friendship and solidarity in the
region. I wish the event a great success.
Sri Lankan shuttlers, cyclists, men’s volleyballers, stickers,
judokas, weightlifters, shooters will come out to show their skills and
performances in six different venues on January 30 (Saturday).
India beat Sri Lanka by eight goals to one in the first match of the
women’s football tournament at Kamaeapur in Dhaka on Friday. Moiranthen
scored the first hat-trick in the football event of the games.
India dominated from the outset of the match and created more chances
but managed to score two goals before the first half.
After the first half India established a total domination over Sri
Lanka and added another six goals.
Sri Lanka got their solitary goal from direct free kick taken by
Pushpa Ekanayake in the 74th minute.
This is the first time women’s football was introduced at the SAG.
India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are competing in the