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Monday, July 23, 2018

SAF Winter Games put off to December

The South Asian Winter Games,scheduled to be held in March this year,have been postponed to December because of delay in preparing infrastructure in Dehradun...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 13, 2009 12:32:49 am

The South Asian Winter Games,scheduled to be held in March this year,have been postponed to December because of delay in preparing infrastructure in Dehradun and Auli,and not because of Pakistan’s non-participation,a Sports Ministry official confirmed on Monday.

The South Asian Olympic Council (SAOC) had decided to introduce a regional winter competition and had accepted India’s bid to stage the first Games,with skiing events to be held at Auli and ice hockey and ice-skating at Dehradun in March,2009. But the organisers have now said that it wasn’t possible for them to ensure the competition venues would be ready in time for the Games.

RK Gupta,chairman of India’s Winter Games Commission,said the postponement was necessitated because of the excess snowfall this season. “This impaired our preparations of the infrastructure,” he told The Indian Express.

“We not only wanted to have good Games but also the infrastructure to be truly world class. That was not possible with the heavy snowfall. Under the circumstances,we decided to postpone the event to December since we would be in a position to prepare the infrastructure some time in April,” he added.

The Games have now been rescheduled for December 25-31. This was decided at a meeting held by the organising committee last week at Dehradun.

The biggest problem,officials said,was in installing pipes that would be used for transporting water. “Once the pipes are in place,we’ll be able to pump water through them from the lakes and then convert them with artificial snow-pumping machines. But that’s not possible right now.”

Earlier,there had been reports that the Games had been postponed due to Pakistan’s refusal to send a contingent for the event. But the sports ministry official said Pakistan’s participation was not an issue since there had been no discussion with the Winter Games Federation of India regarding the participation of a team from across the border in the first place.

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