Chefs de Mission arrive in city; take stock of SAG preparations

Chefs de Mission of eight participating countries and officials of the South Asian Games organising committee (Shillong) in a meeting in city on Tuesday. (ST)

SHILLONG: The Chefs de Mission of all eight participating nations arrived here on Tuesday to take stock of the ongoing preparations for the upcoming 12th South Asian Games. They also held a meeting with members of the Organising Committee of the 12th SAG to discuss all aspects surrounding the disciplines to be held here during the February 5-16 event.
During the meeting, technical sessions were held on various aspects ranging from accommodation to security, transport and medical facilities. Presentations were also made briefing the Chefs de Mission about the readiness of the respective venues to host the multinational event. Also made known were the attractions of Shillong, its special features and sports legacy.
The visiting Chefs de Mission, it was learnt, had concerns over traffic and food arrangements and SAG OC (Shillong) members assured that the same would be addressed accordingly.
On Wednesday, the Chefs de Mission will tour all the venues of Shillong.
Meanwhile, during a press conference after the meeting, SAG Organising Committee (Shillong) CEO, RK Sharma informed that preparatory work is making good progress, with 95 per cent of the renovation work for the Shillong venues already complete.
“The Organising Committee will soon be handed over charge of the venues,” he added.
It may be mentioned that the venues for the Games include JN Sports Complex, JN Sports Complex Indoor Hall, SAI Complex, NEHU and NEIGRIHMS Indoor Stadium. The Assam Rifles Sports Complex has, meanwhile, been listed for hosting wushu event but the venue is yet to be finalized.
Sharma, however, said that the Assam Rifles venue is completely ready for the Games and if given the go ahead will be able to successfully host the event.
Dismissing “rumours” of shortage of proper accommodation in Shillong, Sharma said that ideal accommodation has been arranged for all the athletes and team officials who are expected to descend on Shillong for the multinational event.
Meanwhile, Joint CEO and Meghalaya Sports & Youth Affairs Secretary, FR Kharkongor championed this edition of the tournament as the “Gender Equal Games”, saying that women’s events have been added to every discipline and likewise games will be conducted wherever possible.
This will make the South Asian Games 2016 bigger than any of the previous editions, taking the total medal events to around 235, SAG Advisor RK Sacheti informed.
Over 3600 athletes will take part in this edition of the games against around 2600 of the last edition making it a much bigger event.
Meanwhile, it was also informed that a series of events including a mini marathon will be organised in the run up to the event to raise awareness about it in the city. Celebrities will also be roped in for the events.