Lacklustre end to the event

Nepal to host Games for the 3rd time in 2019

Lacklustre end to the event
Assam and co-hosts Meghalaya brought an end to the 12th South Asian Games, thanking everyone for granting them such a wonderful opportunity to showcase their organisational skills in a speech-filled closing ceremony.

Unlike the opening act that was marked with plenty of laser lights and colour, the closing ceremony at a packed Indira Gandhi Stadium here on Tuesday saw a litany of speeches by Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Union Sports Minister Sarbhananda Sonowal, Indian Olympic Association president N Ramachandran, IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta and Sports Authority of India director-general Injeti Srinivas that made for a boring viewing to what should have been a celebratory evening.

Following the speeches, Ramachandran then handed over the South Asian Olympic Council flag to Nepal Olympic Committee president Jeevan Ram Shreshata. Kathmandu, where the SAG began its journey way back in 1985, will be playing host for a third time come 2019.

“I sincerely thank everyone who initiated the formation of Games in Nepal,” said Shreshata. “I feel honoured to be holding this SAOC flag. Having held the Games twice — in 1985 and 1999 — we have gathered enough experience. Sports plays a vital role as it brings social integrity. We are eagerly awaiting to welcome all of you to Nepal. The paradise of natural beauty awaits you.”

Nepal then gave a glimpse of what awaits the athletes with a video showing their ethereal beauty and short folk dance.

Meanwhile, in stark contrast to the actual ceremony that began at 5.00 pm in the evening, the pre-show kept the audiences entertained. Music groups from the eight North East states belted out various numbers, showcasing their love for music and folk culture.

Artistes and musicians, who took the centre stage after all the speeches were done with, then tried their best to entertain the gathering. Bollywood singer Shaan then capped the evening with the headlining act, churning out some Bollywood chart-toppers as the audience walked back with joy on their faces.

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