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Prime Minister Narendra Modi declares 12th South Asian Games open in colourful ceremony
Prime Minister Narendra Modi declares 12th South Asian Games open in colourful ceremony
The rich and diverse culture of India's Northeast was on display in all its splendour as curtains went up on the 12th South Asian Games in a colourful opening ceremony with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other dignitaries in attendance.PM Modi declared the Games open at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium to mark the formal beginning of the 12-day event to be competed by more than 2600 athletes.
Eight countries -- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, besides India -- will be vying for the top honours in the Games to be co-hosted by Shillong.
"I declare the 12th South Asian Games open," Modi said amid cheers from a capacity crowd at the stadium.
The 'Gender Equal Games' will have 23 disciplines and 228 events, with all the sports having both men and women's sections for the first time, making this edition the biggest ever sporting spectacle in South Asia.
There will be 228 gold, 228 silver and 308 bronze medals on offer this time. The two North Eastern cities will play host to 3,333 athletes and officials.
The ceremony began with the athletes' march past alongside the Games mascot 'Tikhor' leading it. Afghanistan led the march past with hosts India coming in the last.
The second part of the memorable evening began with the rendition of Games song penned by late world famous singer Bhupen Hazarika 'Ei Prithvi ek Krirangan (the whole world is a playground)'
The second part of the memorable evening began with the rendition of Games song penned by late world famous singer Bhupen Hazarika 'Ei Prithvi ek Krirangan (the whole world is a playground)'

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