2016 South Asian Games concluded; India finished at top with 308 medals

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Who: 12th South Asian Games
Where: Guwahati & Shillong
What: Concluded
When: 16 February 2016

12th South Asian Games (SAG) 2016 concluded on 16 February 2016 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Sarusajai of Guwahati, Assam. The game that saw 228 events in 23 sports disciplines was held from 5 February to 16 February 2016.

Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal declared the Games closed at a colourful closing ceremony. The main attraction of the closing ceremony was different bands played from the north eastern region, namely Still Waters (Sikkim), The Soul Rebels (Arunachal Pradesh), Salvator (Manipur), Boomarang (Mizoram) and Purple Fusion (Nagaland).

12th South Asian Games inaugurated in Guwahati

The event saw participation of about 2600 athletes from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives. It was co-hosted by Guwahati, Assam and Meghalaya capital, Shillong. The games were conducted in 26 venues across the cities of Guwahati and Shillong. 17 venues were in Guwahati and 9 venues were in Shillong.

India finished at the top with a record 308 medals – 188 Gold, 90 Silver and 30 Bronze, which put to shade its previous best of 214 medals at the 2006 Games in Colombo. Athletics, Shooting, Archery, Wrestling, Boxing, Weightlifting and Swimming were the events that witnessed the Indian master-class.

Medals Tally

Countries Gold Medal Silver Medal Bronze Medal Total
India 188 90 30 308
Sri Lanka 25 63 98 186
Pakistan 12 37 57 106
Afghanistan 7 9 19 35
Bangladesh 4 15 56 75
Nepal 3 23 34 60
Maldives 0 2 1 3
Bhutan 0 1 15 16

India made clean sweep in Boxing (won 10 Gold medals at stake), tennis and kabaddi (won both men and women gold). Besides, Shooter Chain Singh’s 6 Gold, new Games records by swimmers Sandeep Sejwal and Sayani Ghosh, and magical performances in track and field are some of the moments that Guwahati and Shillong will remember for many days to come.

And, not to mention, Sri Lanka, the one country that made India toil hard, and even beat them on several occasions. Its swimmers, notably Mathew Abheysinghe, and track athletes made the headlines with some flawless performances. In a nutshell, it was all India at the Games, and, it was the country’s flag, at the end, on which the closing credits rolled.

Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangan was the theme song of the 12th South Asian Games, which literally translates to “The world is a playground”. It was written by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, an Indian lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam. Games slogan was ‘Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity’.

Tikhor, a one-horned rhino that represents endangered fauna of Assam found in Kaziranga National Park, was the official mascot of the event.

13th South Asian Games will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2019.