November 29, 2019
TCP : ADVERTORIAL
The 2019 South Asian Games will take place in Kathmandu-Pokhara, Nepal from 1 December 2019 to 10 December 2019. The tournament was originally scheduled to be held from 9 to 18 March 2019. Seven countries from the South Asian region will participate in the tournament: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
These Games will feature 26 sports. Earlier there was a plan to have 27 sports, but paragliding was excluded by the organizing committee in early November. Swimming will have 20 events, the highest in the Games, followed by Athletics with 19 events. All the events need to have a minimum of 4 participating nations, otherwise, it will not be held. Cricket will be making a comeback to South Asian Games after the 2010 South Asian Games.
India is the sporting giant of the South Asian region and has dominated the South Asian Games Medal Tally over the years. India will send a 667 member contingent of athletes and officials in the South Asian Games. In the thirteenth edition of the South Asian Games, India will participate in 17 games. The games India will not participate in are Archery, Cricket, Golf, Karate, Kabaddi, Table Tennis, Tennis, Taekwondo and Wrestling. India’s entries in archery, karate and taekwondo were declined after the three federations have either been suspended or derecognized by their respective global associations.
Coming to athletics, the Athletics Federation of India(AFI) has selected a young squad for the South Asian Games. The Federation doesn’t want to risk the chance of injury to senior players before the Olympics next year. Although some of the senior players like Shivpal Singh and MP Jabir will be taking part in the tournament to improve their ranking points. India won 28 gold medals in athletics in the last edition of the tournament, but the AFI is not very hopeful of a large haul of medals as sending a young team has been done to give players international exposure and the Federation is not focusing much on the medals.
India won both the gold medals which were at stake in the last edition of the Games. Nut this time around, the competition is stiffer. The men’s team has struggled against Pakistan in the recent past and it will be Pakistani team that will try to India’s winning streak in the Games. To make the squad stronger, the Indian coach has decided to select some good players from the U-23 team for the South Asian Games. The U-23 men’s volleyball team won the silver in the Asian U-23 championship earlier this year. The team will also be hoping to have good performance from the players like Naveen Raja Jacob, Kamlesh Khatik, Hari Prasad and Midhun Kumar to add a gold medal to the India Medal Tally South Asian Games in 2019.
In Football, the women’s team would look to win the gold medal once again whereas the men’s team would be eager to turn their silver from the last edition into gold. The 30 women players are undergoing a training camp in Kolkata which will run till 29 November. Maymol Rocky, the coach of the women’s team feel that the team will be able to repeat the success of the last edition.