By our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 17: The Torch Relay of the 12th South Asian Games, 2016 was launched amid much fanfare at Major Dhyan Chand tiol Stadium in New Delhi in presence of Sarbanda Sonowal, Union Sports Minister, top officials of IOA and eminent sports persolities of the country.
The ceremony started with the handing over of the Torch by IOA President N Ramachandran to Sonowal, who is also the Chairman of the Organising Committee. The Chairman lit the Torch and handed it over to former Indian hockey team captain Zafar Iqbal and Kunjarani Devi for start of the Relay to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where it was later received by Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General, IOA.
In his iugural address before the start of the relay, Sonowal said, “The South Asian Games are the symbol of the cohesion, peace and harmony while sportspersons are the ambassadors of their respective countries. These Games will energize the youths of the country and the Torch Relay marks the beginning of the South Asian Games, 2016.”
Eminent sports persolities like Zafar Iqbal, Gopichand, Kunjarani Devi, Rajkumar Sangwan, Seema Poonia, Krish Poonia, Manjeet Dua, Neha Aggarwal, Gurbaz, Romeo James, Bahadur Singh, Devinder Bhatia and Bimoljit Singh along with Avish Joshi, Jt CEO, OC-SAG; Onkarmal Kedia, Joint Secretary (Sports), SS Chhabra, Secretary, SAI and more than 2000 volunteers and school children participated in today’s function. The Torch will later visit all the capital of the Northeast states.
Guwahati and Shillong will jointly host the 12th South Asian Games, 2016 from February 5. Around 3500 athletes from eight countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will take part in the championship..