Colourful start to games of the bold

IWAS Games to showcase the fight against odds


For the next eight days 604 athletes from 43 countries would vie for top honours in 10 disciplines at five venues in the city. Started off an hour late, the opening ceremony took off with Brazilian athletes leading the march past. With Corps of Military Police band providing the tune other countries followed the South Americans.

The good number of spectators who filled the main venue cheered the athletes on as they soaked in the atmosphere. The biggest roar, as usual, was reserved for the host nation, which has a contingent of 163 members here. Discus thrower P Y Venkatesh and Padmashri awardee Malathi Holla led the Indian march past.

The IWAS Secretary General Maura Strange hoped for a great Games. “I am happy to see so many teams in the IWAS Games. Every effort has been taken so that we can see some good competition here. I wish every athlete a successful meet. I know together we will deliver a great games in Bangalore,” Strange said. State Minister for Medical Education Ramachandra Gowda then declared the Games open.

Arjuna awardee Devendra Jhajhria lit the Games flame in the cauldron at the Northern end and took the oath on behalf of the participants. “To carry the torch for such a big event  is something special,” said Devendra, the Athens paralympic javelin throw gold-medallist. A cultural programme by students from various schools and a musical entertainment by Vasundhara Das and group added spice to the ceremony.

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