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Kerala all set for 35th National Games

Kerala all set for 35th National Games

Thiruvananthapuram: All is in place as Kerala waits with bated breath for the start of 35th National Games 2015 Saturday. Over the next two weeks, new records would be created and new champions crowned.

Full credit has to be given to the organisers for hosting this mega event - and that too in a very short span of time.

However, there have also been some unnerving moments, especially when a section of the media, till it was placated, found fault in everything the organisers did.

If there's one person who stood as a rock behind the organisers, it was Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who said raising mere allegations will only spoil the morale of the organisers.

"I have always pointed out that, we are prepared to look into issues, if they are written and given. The organisers have done a great job," said Chandy.

The first event of the 35th National Games will be the opening ceremony to be held, Saturday evening at the Green Field Stadium with cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar as the chief guest.

The newly-built stadium in the outskirts of the capital city will seat more than 40,000 spectators.

The competitions begin Sunday and this is the first time that the Games are being held in more than one district.

The event is going to be held at seven districts of the state in 30 venues and will end Feb 14, with the closing ceremony to be held in the same venue as the opening ceremony.

"This by far is the biggest sporting event when close to 10,000 athletes including officials will take part, besides with around 2,500 media people taking part," said an official of the Games.

Chief Commissioner of the Games - Jacob Punnoose and his dedicated team have been working overtime for the past several weeks and months to see that the event takes place without any hassels.

The event is estimated to cost the organisers about Rs. 611 crores and including Rs. 456.50 crores on creating infrastructure and the rest for the actual conduct of the event.

One of the highlight of this Games is the state-of-the-art Games Village that has 365 housing units which are now ready in the capital district and will house 5,000 athletes, coaches and officials with three-star facilities.

The Games Village will open Thursday.

For the captain of the home team, Preeja Sreedharan, the national record holder in long distance events, it's going to be her swan-song.

"I will be quitting the field with this event and all of us are rearing to bring the crown to our state. Being the hosts, we will be having the support of our people, which is very crucial," said Sreedharan.

State Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that the challenge to host the Games was enormous as they got the dates for the event just seven months back.

"From then on it was a race against time as we had so many deadlines to be met. I must thank the organisers who have worked on deadlines as they had to finish 21 brand new venues. We feel we have done an excellent job and now we all hope the Games will be thrilling for the participants as well as the spectators," said Radhakrishnan.

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