The Relay bearing the Games torch reached Thiruvananthapuram yesterday, the eighth day after it started its journey. Earlier a rousing reception was given to the torch at the district’s periphery and from there it was brought in to the city with much fanfare.
Hunderds of people voluntarily joined the relay at all major junctions as it approached the city. It was received at Martyrs’ Column, Palayam by Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Mayor Chandrika and V. Sivankutty MLA, trainees of various sports disciplines, skaters and a large crowd.
All the top archers of the country have entered for the National Games. The final accreditation list confirms that 117 men and 111 women archers will participate. The list includes Arjuna awardees, Olympians, World Cup medallists, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games medallists and national record holders.
Archery competitions of the National Games are classified broadly into three namely Indian Round, Compound and Recurve. Under each classification, individual and team competitions for men and women and a mixed event are scheduled, totalling to 15 events.
The new Hockey stadium at Ashramam, Kollam, which will host the Hockey Competitions of the National Games was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today. The artificial turfed playing area, the first of its kind in Kerala, was opened by Minister for Labour ShriShibu Baby John. The hockey matches are scheduled from 1st to 11th of February, 2015.
The first set of State contingents has arrived. Teams from Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh were the first to arrive at the capital. Several other large contingents of teams and officials have also arrived. In all the venue districts, rousing reception has been extended to the athletes and officials, coordinated by the respective District Organising Committees (DOC) and peoples’ representatives.
The new shooting range at Vattityoorkavu, Thiruvananthapura, where the pistol and rifle events of the National Games shooting competitions are scheduled, was inaugurated by the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
The Chief Minister affirmed that the world class venues made ready for the Games shall be maintained post-Games as well, which would benefit the future generations.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy declared open the Trivandrum International Stadium at Karyavattom today. The stadium, which will be fully complete by mid 2015 with facilities such as Clubhouse, Convention centre, Shopping mall, etc, is now ready as venue for the Games’ opening ceremony on Saturday, January 31.
In his inaugural address the Chief Minister said that getting the new stadium ready in time is a wonderful achievement. The blooming of new Games venues across the State would even open up possibilities of developing Sports Tourism in a big way, he added.
Kerala appears to have an edge over others with ace singles player H.S. Prannoy in its squad along with two good doubles combinations, namely Arun Vishnu & Alwyn Francis, who are the current national doubles winners, and experienced campaigners Sanave Thomas & Roopesh Kumar. There are also hopes that P.C.Thulasi, Aparna Balan and J,K. Malavika form a strong women brigade for Kerala.
Many well-known names of Indian Badminton are yet to be accredited for the National Games. Prannoy is one of the few who has already confirmed his participation.