By Naushad Amit reporting from Nepal
The 13th South Asian Games (SAG) 2019 edition was declared open at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal yesterday (01), amidst a colourful opening ceremony.
The teams representing the seven participating countries - hosts Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives - paraded inside the stadium, in front of keen sports enthusiasts of Kathmandu and other nations.
By yesterday, teams of all sports representing Sri Lanka had reached Kathmandu and Pokhara, the two venue cities where the SAG is conducted.
Sri Lanka's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony was its Chef-de-Mission Dampath Fernando as almost all sports teams of the island nation rallied behind him except for few teams currently active in Pokhara, almost 300km away from the Nepal capital.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Men's and Women's kho-kho teams were in action yesterday but experienced massive defeats in their respective opening round games at Kritipur, Naya Bazaar in Kathmandu.
In the curtain-raiser game of kho-kho, India thrashed Sri Lanka 32-4 after entirely dominating the game.
In contrast, hosts Nepal enjoyed a fruitful day, winning their Women's match against Bangladesh 11-9.
The Nepal Men's Team followed the trend set by their Women, edging out Bangladesh 21-19 after a close battle.
In another repeater of what their Women experienced earlier, the Sri Lanka Men's kho-kho team was comprehensively defeated by India 8-21.
The remaining preliminary round matches of kho-kho will be worked off today (2) at the same venue with Sri Lanka Men set to begin the day in their quest against Bangladesh at 9.00 a.m.
The Women's kho-kho matches will begin with the game between Nepal and India at 9.00 a.m. and will proceed with the games between Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh.
The evening matches are between Nepal vs India and Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh.
The Sri Lanka Men's kho-kho team will take on Bangladesh in the first game before the fixture between Nepal and India.
In the afternoon, Sri Lanka Men will take on Nepal Men before the final game of the day between India and Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka's hopes of winning a medal in volleyball faced a blow when the Men's Team was defeated 1-3 by the strong Indians in the first semi-final encounter.
India won the first set 27-25 after a strong battle to lead the sets early and extended their lead to 2-0 after winning the second game 25-19 easily.
Sri Lanka countered with a strong retaliation to win the third set 25-21 but India sealed the match by winning the fourth set 25-21.
In the second semi-final, Pakistan recorded a 3-0 cleanup against Bangladesh with scores of 25-15, 25-21 and 26-24.
Bangladesh will now play Sri Lanka in the third place playoff at the Cover Hall in Tripoureshwor.
Sri Lanka Women lost to Nepal in the second semi-final and are slotted to take on the Maldives in the third place playoff at 4.00 p.m. today at the Cover Hall in Tripureshwor.