12th South Asian Games begins in Guwahati
The 12th edition of South Asian Games (SAG) has begun in Guwahati, Assam after it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.
The 11-day event is being jointly hosted by Guwahati and Meghalaya capital, Shillong.
Over 2,500 athletes from 8 SAARC nations viz. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives are participating in it. Total of 228 events in 23 sports disciplines will be played during the games, which India is hosting for the third time.
- Slogan of games: ‘Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity’.
- Official mascot: Tikhor, a one-horned rhino that represents endangered fauna of Assam found in Kaziranga National Park.
About South Asian Games
- SAG is biennial multi-sport event held among the athletes from 8 South Asian (SAARC) countries. It is often hyped as the South Asian version of Olympic Games.
- It was established as South Asian Federation Games, but in 2004 was renamed as South Asian Games.
- The first edition of SAG was hosted in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1984 and has since been held every two years except for some occasions.
- India has hosted SAG for two time, first in 1987 in Kolkata (West Bengal) and second time in 1995 in Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
- Medal Tally: So far, India has ruled over this multi-sport event right from the beginning and has bagged the most number of medals – 1,728 which includes 900 Gold, 542 silver and 286 bronze.
- Pakistan (311-375-336) is second in the list, with Sri Lanka (185-245-455) at third.