National Games roll into action
PESHAWAR: The 33rd National Games, carrying 5000 athletes, were on Sunday formally opened during a splendid ceremony here at the heavily guarded Qayyum Sports Complex.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan formally opened the Games. Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood was the guest of honour.
Also present were KP Provincial Assembly Deputy Speaker Mehmood Jan, KP senior minister Atif Khan, former squash greats Jehangir Khan and Jansher Khan, hockey Olympians Islahuddin Siddiqui and Qazi Salahuddin, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) president Lt Gen (retd) Arif Hasan, secretary Khalid Mehmood, KP Olympic Association’s president Aqil Shah and top officials of national federations and members of the KP Assembly.
Pakistan’s premier wrestler and two-time world beach champion and gold medallist of the recently held World Beach Games Inam Butt led the march past while holding Pakistan’s flag.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) led the march-past. They were followed by Army, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad, Navy, Police, Punjab, Railways, Sindh, WAPDA and hosts KP.
Senior players took oath on behalf of the participating players. A bunch of youngsters from the Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) led by Lt Col Mohammad Imran demonstrated free-fall from 4000 feet.
The country’s sports powerhouses Army and WAPDA have the biggest contingents of 925 members each, which include players, officials and contingent officials. KP consists of 750 athletes and officials and 15 contingent officials.
The strength of the other units is: HEC (700 players and officials, 25 contingent officials), Sindh (450 players and officials+15 contingent officials), Punjab (450+15), Balochistan (450+15), PAF (400+25), Navy (400+25), Police (500+25), Railways (500+25), Islamabad (175+6), Gilgit Baltistan (150+6) and AJK (150+6).
Abbottabad is hosting gymnastics, judo, rugby, taekwondo and weightlifting, events. Mardan is set to host bodybuilding and handball contests. Badminton events will be held in Charsadda. Rowing and swimming competitions will be held in Islamabad. Shooting events were completed on Sunday at Jhelum. Karachi hosted the sailing event which concluded on Saturday.
The competitions in e-sports and throwball will be held as demonstration sports at Qayyum Sports Complex and Jamrud Stadium, respectively.