The Union Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today congratulated the Indian contingent for their record breaking medal winning performance in the just-concluded South Asian Games co-hosted by Guwahati and Shillong.
Briefing reporters after the meeting today, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Prime Minister Modi has congratulated the athletes and observed that all SAARC nations have participated in the Games which were conducted successfully by India.
The 12th South Asian Games concluded yesterday with a grand closing ceremony.
The event has been widely hailed as the best South Asian Games ever organised, a statement from the Sports Ministry said.
The Games involved about 4500 participants, including around 2600 athletes in 22 disciplines. All the eight countries participated in the 12-day sporting extravaganza.
The 12th South Asians Games saw a record medal haul by India. Out of total 789 medals on offer, India India won a record 308 medals, which is almost 40% per cent of all the medals.
As many as 12 new records were created in athletics, out of which 10 belonged to India. Out of the 28 records created in swimming, 19 belonged to India.
The release further said that the successful conduct of the Games is to be seen in the context of record time in which it was executed. It was barely six months ago when the two cities Guwahati andShillong were finalised as venues.
Chairman of the Organising Committee and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal played a big role in bringing various ministries and departments of the Government of India, public sector undertakings, state governments of Assam and Meghalaya and other key players together to deliver the best-ever South Asian Games, it added.
In a first initiative of its kind for the Games, the Government of India is considering a cash prize for the Indian medal winners. An award of Rs 3 lacs will be given to gold medal winners, while Rs 2 lacs and Rs 1 lac are earmarked for silver and bronze medallists.
The next South Asian Games will be hosted by Kathmandu, Nepal.