KATHMANDU The inauguration ceremony of the 13th South Asian Games (SAG), a multi-sport event, has started at the newly constructed Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu, today.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari announced the official opening at around 6:00 pm, followed by fireworks.
The SAG is being held from today until December 10 in three cities — Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Janakpur — among the athletes from the South Asian countries.
The inauguration ceremony kicked off with the march-past by athletes, with a cultural gesture shortly after 5:00 pm. Krishnasar (the blackbuck antelope) is the official mascot of the 13th SAG.
Athletes from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka will be competing in 26 different sports in the 13th SAG.
During the 10-day games, more than 2,000 athletes will compete for 1119 medals, including 319 gold, in 26 sports disciplines.
Around 15,000 spectators attended the opening ceremony and thousands of security personnel including volunteers have been mobilised to work round the clock to maintain the SAG decorum and make the ceremony a spectacular success.
The live coverage of 13th SAG can be viewed in from more than 15 countries in an attempt to promote Visit Nepal Year 2020.
In view of the 13th SAG, the Metropolitan Traffic Police of Kathmandu implemented an odd-even plan for vehicles for proper traffic management. Only odd-number vehicles will operate on Dec 1 while only even-number vehicles will operate on Dec 10.
The closing ceremony will be held on December 10.