The curtain of the 13th South Asia Games S.A. Games, the biggest sports extravaganza of the region, was inaugurated on Sunday (Dec.1) evening at the newly constructed Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari declared the Games open in front of dignitaries and athletes from seven participating nations of South Asia amid huge fanfare.
A 621-memeber strong Bangladesh contingent is representing in the regional meet being held in Kathmandu and Pokhara with Bangladesh taking part in twenty-five disciplines out of twenty-six in the South Asian regional biggest extravaganza.
The twenty-five disciplines are archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling, football, golf, fencing, Kho Kho, handball, hockey, judo, kabaddi, karate, shooting, squash, swimming, cricket, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.
The South Asian Federation Games began from Kathmandu in 1984 and Nepal hosted the eighth edition of the Games in 1999. Late King Birendra inaugurated the Games on both occasions. The SAF Games was renamed to SA Games from the 10th edition held in Colombo in 2006.
The SA Games offers a total of 1,115 medals – 317 gold, 317 silver and 481 bronze – with swimming being at the top with 38 gold medals. Out of the 27 sports disciplines included in the SA Games, paragliding was cancelled in the absence of minimum three teams.
Earlier, Bangladesh, featuring a 718-member contingent, finished fifth among eight nations in the last South Asian Games in India in 2016, winning four gold, fifteen silver and fifty-six bronze medals.