Asia/Kathmandu

Today, National Games begin unofficially

The official opening ceremony of the eight National Games is set for April 18 at the Nepalgunj Stadium however the multi-event meet kicks off with table tennis, wrestling, men’s hockey, squash and tennis matches on Wednesday.

However, 16 of the 35 sports disciplines will already end by the time the Games officially open in Nepalgunj. Squash is going to be played at the Satdobato squash court in Lalitpur when four others will be played across numerous venues of Province 5. Golf is going to be played in Kathmandu while paragliding and triathlon will be held in Kaski because of the insufficient proper infrastructure in Province 5.

The infrastructure needed to hold early games is already in place, while some of the facilities are near completion for the games that are scheduled for later stages. The Nepalgunj Stadium, which hosts the opening and closing ceremonies, is undergoing a swift face-lift. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is scheduled to inaugurate the Games.

The black-toppings of the road is also going on and six VIP parapets have been installed so far with roofs yet to be instilled. By Monday, 3,500 retractable seats have arrived in nine containers in Nepalgunj from China through Kolkata. Based on Bhim Oli, president of Mid-Western Sports Development Committee, 700 seats are going to be installed before the opening ceremony in the stadium that has the capacity to accommodate 10,000 spectators.

“The retractable seats will likely be installed only for the VIPs while the rest will be put in place after the opening ceremony,” claimed Oli. With the official kick-off, just nine days left, organisers and technical manpower are still being focused on putting final touches to infrastructure. In the meantime, Bardiya is ready in terms of infrastructure to host the games. Bardiya is slated to host chess, kabbadi, kho kho and sepak takraw at the indoor facilities.

Apart from Kathmandu and Kaski, the Games will be held in Banke, Bardiya, Dang, Kapilvastu and Rupandehi districts. The Games will definitely have a total of 11 teams— seven provinces, three departmental outfits Nepal Police Club, Tribhuvan Army Club and Nepal APF Club along with a Non-Residential Nepali (NRN) team. In all, 5,221 players—2825 male and 2386 female—will participate in the Games that offer 372 gold and silver each and 563 bronze medals.

The gold medallists in individual events will get Rs 15,000 each and winners of team event can get Rs 7000 each. In all, the National Sports Council will give away Rs 13.23 million in prize along. For athletes setting new national records, the supreme sports governing body will hand over Rs 25,000 each separately.

Football, athletics, boxing, weightlifting, table tennis, cricket, lawn tennis, swimming, shooting, volleyball, squash, taekwondo, judo archery, kabbadi, kho kho, wushu, basketball, badminton, cycling, karate, wrestling, fencing, triathlon, paragliding, golf, handball, chess, soft tennis, ITF taekwondo, sepak takraw, gymnastics, bodybuilding, full contact karate and hockey are included in the Games.

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