Janakpur all set for wrestling eventsProvince 2 officials say the occasion serves both as a challenge and opportunity for the city.
The District Sports Development Committee Dhanusha has announced it has completed all the preparations for the South Asian Games wrestling events.
During a meeting on Monday evening, Kamal Kishor Chaudhary, the president of the committee, confirmed that the covered hall—the venue for the wrestling events—had been spruced up the 10-day regional sports extravaganza which kicks off on December 1.
The National Sports Council had allocated Rs2 million for the renovation of the covered hall built 34 years ago.
Other arrangements regarding accommodation and security of the participating athletes and officials have been complete, Chaudhary said.
“We have already briefed the National Sports Council, Nepal Olympic Committee, and the ministries regarding the arrangements,” he said. “As the covered hall can only accommodate 500 spectators, we are arranging fan zones outside the main venue and around the Janaki temple area where the matches will be projected live.”
Men and women wrestlers from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be vying with Nepali contestants for 14 gold medals—seven each in men’s and women’s categories. Each participating country is fielding 14 wrestlers, two managers, and up to five coaches. The teams are scheduled to arrive in Janakpur on December 3.
The men’s competition will be held under seven weight categories: 57kg, 65kg, 70kg, 79kg, 86kg, 92kg and 125kg. Women will contest in seven: 50kg, 53kg, 55kg, 57kg, 59kg, 62kg and 68kg. The wrestling competitions will take place from December 6 to 9.
The inaugural ceremony in Janakpur will see Province 2 Chief Minister Lal Babu Raut, among other dignitaries, in attendance. The Games organisers are set to welcome the participants amid a colourful opening ceremony featuring traditional performances from the artists of Mithila Art Drama Council.
Chief Minister Raut said the provincial government would everything in this power to make the event a grand success. “As wrestling is closely connected to the prestige of our province, we won’t leave any stone unturned to achieve that goal,” Raut told the Post.
The National Sports Council had held a series of discussions with the Province 2 government, Janakpurdham Sub-metropolis, District Administration Office and security departments for a smooth organisation of the event.
The District Sports Development Committee said that all state security mechanisms would be deployed to rule out any untoward incidents.
Dhanusha Superintendent of Police Shekhar Khanal also said they were not leaving anything to chance on the security of the athletes. “More than 600 policemen will be deployed. They will be accompanied by special squads along with the bomb squad of Nepal Army.”
SP Khanal, however, said they are yet to receive information on the accommodation facility, the exact number of participating athletes and the routes they would be using to and from the Games venue.
Further assurance came from province’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Law Gyanendra Yadav, who said the provincial government had carried out preparations in its bid to make the wrestling competitions disciplined and successful.
“This is the first international sporting event that is being held in Janakpur. The province government will extend all necessary support for the purpose,” he added. “The wrestling events will be held after Vivah Panchami on December 1. This occasion serves both as a challenge and opportunity for Janakpur.”