Games go off with glitz

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The 8th Bangladesh Games kick-started in style at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday evening amidst a colourful night sky lit up by fireworks. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

The wait is over. The 8th Bangladesh Games is officially on. Eleven long years after the last edition was held, the country’s biggest sporting extravaganza kicked off yesterday evening, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opening the colourful ceremony by putting her signature on the electronic board.
Some seven thousand athletes from 31 disciplines will fight for 346 gold, as many silver and 477 bronze medals at 27 separate venues over the next nine days.
The Opening ceremony got underway through the performances of orchestra teams from Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force. Video projections were made at the giant screen which depicted the big sporting events staged so far in the country.
The national anthem was played by ‘Surer Dhara’ who were joined by the performers of the Swadhin Bangle Betar Kendra. Athletes then entered the Big Bowl from both entrances before the oath was read out by the fastest athletes of the country, Nazmun Nahar Beauty and Mohan Khan.
The most exciting part was the torch lighting. The Games torch, which started its journey on Thursday from the National Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Savar, was carried inside the stadium by noted sports personalities – Rafiqul Islam, Shamima Sattar Mimu, Sheikh Mohammad Aslam and Sabrina Sultana – by turns before they handed it over to Jummon Lusai, the legendary football and hockey player, who lit a symbolic torch on the stage in the middle, which lit up fire balls and those balls shoot themselves automatically into the big torch at the north side of the stadium. A fountain of flames overflowed the pedestal of the torch as soon as it was lit.
The cultural show consisted of a few segments including the depiction of rural Bangladesh through song and dance, the cultural heritage of the country and a theme song of the Games.
Fireworks were the order of the day. There were intermittent fireworks, of different sorts, throughout the program and at the end of it. Five minutes of nonstop fireworks, from all corners of the stadium called an end to the night of celebration. But there will be more of it, come the closing ceremony on April 28.

Source: The Daily Star

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