National Games Come To Karachi Again

tax%20thingy.bmp The 30th National Games were inaugurated today with Pugilist Asghar Ali Shah lighting the Olympic flame at the Peoples Stadium after receiving it at the end of the torch relay which begun its journey from Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum.

Over 3000 male and female athletes, representing 20 different departments and regions, will participate across 43 different disciplines (including tug-of-war, taekwondo and wushu, but excluding baseball) over the next five days.

Even though Sindh has send the largest contingent this time, with a squad of over 600 athletes, the Army traditionally has had a strong hold in the competitions. Since its inception in 1948, they’ve won a total of 22 titles, including the last 15 on trot! (Sigh….is there really any domain left in this country which isn’t completely dominated by the Army?)

On a brighter note, it is not very common that mega sports events are organised in our city, and even though the 30th National Games, given the relatively low level of interest they would generate in terms of crowd participation, aren’t exactly the kind of ‘mega’ sports event that would test Karachi’s management skills too much, it is nevertheless an event that needs to be highlighted.

If you see today’s schedule of the games published in Dawn, you’ll notice that events took place across the city, in places as diverse as the National Sailing Centre in Clifton and the Arif Shaheed Park in Nazimabad.

Perhaps if you’re free tomorrow and fancy a unique sort of outing, you could go catch one of the events. Drop by a comment if you were at the opening ceremony today, and have pictures or thoughts to share.

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