Guwahati, Feb 16: It was an evening of mixed emotions and sombreness as the curtains came down on the 12th South Asian Games 2016 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati Tuesday evening.
The 12-day sporting extravaganza ended with a closing ceremony that complimented a grand opening ceremony suitably showcasing the rich culture of the host region. Filled with unbridled excitement and fervour of the participants and people , the stadium at Sarusajai exploded in revelry and celebration of the sports , friendship and togetherness.
The cultural show culminated with Bollywood singer Shaan’s performance which was preceded by shows from the legendary Bob Dylan of Meghalaya Lou Majaw, Priyanka Bharali, Dr Sangita Kakati, Mousam Gogoi and Mayukh Hazarika’s The Brahmaputa Balladeers and others before a packed crowd.
Athletes from the eight nations — Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India — were accompanied by 1200 volunteers into the stadium during the march past.
The Games involved about 4500 participants, including around 2600 athletes, in 22 disciplines held in Guwahati and Shillong. An unprecedented security arrangement ensured a smooth conduct of the 12- day event without any hitch across the two cities of Guwahati and Shillong.
India’s regional supremacy went unchallenged as the hosts were crowned overall champions for the 12th consecutive time, after notching up a record-breaking haul of 308 medals, at the South Asian Games.
With women boxers scooping all the three gold medals on offer and the judokas also bagging two gold and two silver on the last day of the Games, India’s final tally stood at 188 gold, 99 silver and 30 bronze medals.
It was a massive jump in medal count for the Indians, who had won 175, including 90 gold, in the previous edition of the Games in 2010.
At the distant second spot was Sri Lanka with a haul of 186 medals (25 silver, 63 silver and 98 bronze). Pakistan held on to the third spot with a final count of 106 medals (12 gold, 37 silver and 57 bronze).
On the final day of competitions, first off the blocks were the pugilists, who ensured that India scored a ‘Perfect 10’ in boxing. After the men had scooped all the seven gold medals on offer, the women made a clean sweep on Tuesday.