The curtain will rise on the 8th Bangladesh Games today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium through a gala opening ceremony where the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will officially declare the Tk 21.72-crore meet open.
Fireworks, a thematic cultural show, the lighting of the torch and march-past of the athletes will be the special features of the Tk 8-crore opening ceremony. Bangladesh Television will telecast the ceremony live from the venue from 4pm.
The eighth edition of the country’s biggest sports extravaganza will see seven thousand athletes from 31 disciplines fight for 346 gold, 346 silver and 477 bronze medals at 27 separate venues for nine days.
State-owned Bangladesh Television will telecast live the opening ceremony of the games from the stadium. The biggest sports event of the country will remain under strong surveillance of members of RAB, police and intelligent agencies.
The venues of the games will keep under security blanket considering ongoing political situation of the country and the terrorist attack on Marathon in Boston of USA.
The Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA), the responsible body for holding the Bangladesh Games once in four years, has taken all the steps to make the Games a success as it is being held 11 years after the 7th edition, which was held in 2002.
“From our side, there has been no lack of efforts as all steps have already been taken to make it a success. We are ready to stage our biggest domestic show,” said BOA vice president and steering committee chairman Harunur Rashid on the eve of the official inauguration.
The Bangladesh Games started its journey in 1978 and the first two editions were named Olympic Championships before it was renamed as the Bangladesh Games in 1984.
This edition of the Games will feature six new disciplines as cricket, chess, rugby, fencing, archery and wushu have been added to the fray.
The games will be held in 27 venues of the capital.
The venues are Bangabandhu National Stadium, Mirpur Sher-e-Banlga Cricket Stadium, Moulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium, Mohammad Ali Boxing Stadium, Basketball Indoor Stadium, National Shooting Complex, Kurmitola Golf Club, Physical Training College ground, Shooting Complex ground, Birsreshta Mostafa Kamal Stadium, Bangladesh Army Stadium, BKSP, Bangladesh Army Stadium, Dhaka Club Squash Court, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Wooden Floor Gymnasium, Shaheed Moansur Ali Handball Stadium, Kabadi Stadium, National Sports Council Gymnasium, National Swimming Complex, Sultana Kamal Women Sports Council and Dhaka University Gymnasium ground.
An eight-member committee was formed to coordinate the matter of security and law and order of the Bangladesh Games. Apart from the deployment of RAB, police, and DB police, Close Circuit Cameras will also be set up in different points.
Director General of RAB Mokhlesur Rahman, also chief of security coordination Committee, said “Security ring has been set up comprising with members of RAB, police and intelligent agencies ahead of the games.
DMP DC (Sadar) Syed Anwar Hossain told banglanews, “Police will take tight security measures in the venues on the occasion of Bangladesh Games. Traffic movement will also be restricted on roads in areas surrounding the venues.”
Before the official inauguration today, some events of a number of disciplines like tennis, football, hockey, table tennis, handball and squash have already started and the first two gold medals were decided yesterday.