Sports enthusiasts head to north-east for South Asian Games

Guwahati/ Shillong, Feb. 12 (ANI): The 12th edition of the ongoing South Asian Games in Guwahati and Shillong showcases India’s northeastern region’s ability to hold a mega sports extravaganza.

The 12th South Asian Games was declared open by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Guwahati on February 5.

Guwahati is co-hosting the 12-day event with Meghalaya’s capital Shillong.

The hosting of the major international sporting event is part of the government’s efforts to develop India’s north-east region.

The mega sports extravaganza will help boost the state’s tourism besides pushing infrastructural growth.

“There are so many countries that have come here. So, definitely they will come here because they told me that this place is very nice. In this way, tourism will come up. We have world class swimming pool, indoor games and stadium here is one of the best in India and foreign players also appreciated this field,” said Ajit Singh, Sports and Youth Welfare Minister, Assam.

The objective of decentralizing sports to centres outside the metros is laudable and the effort will boost economic growth and prosperity in the region.

“Guwahati has improved to a great extent and now we are capable of holding all such events. Even, Prime Minister told that the FIFA World Cup will be held here. It was great news for all of us,” said Harikal, a visitor.

“It is fantastic. Everyone here had a great time. Performance, audience and everyone had the most beautiful time. I hope in the near future there will be a bigger event,” said Lou Majaw, a singer from Shillong.

In the ongoing games, a total of 241 events will be held. More than 3,300 athletes and officials from the eight participating countries are taking part in the sporting gala.

“India, Nepal, Pakistan and other countries should play games biennially so that closer bilateral relations can be maintained. Sports will also develop this way as four years is a very long time. All SAARC nations will play games biennially and it will be very good to develop closer relations,” said Bahadur Guru, Squash coach.

As of February 12, India is leading in the medal tally by winning 142 gold, 78 silver and 21 bronze medals. (ANI)

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