2016 South Asian Games

The 2016 South Asian Games, officially the XII South Asian Games, is a major multi-sport event which took place from 5 February to 16 February 2016 in Guwahati and Shillong, India.[1] A total of 2,672 athletes competed in 226 events over 22 sports.[2] Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati on 5 February 2016.[3][4] India continued its dominance in the game's medal tally with a staggering 308 medals including 188 gold medals.[5]

12th South Asian Games
2016 South Asian Games Logo.png
Official logo of XII South Asian Games.
Host cityGuwahati and Shillong
Motto"Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity"
Nations participating8
Athletes participating2,672
Events226 in 22 sports
Opening ceremony5 February (Guwahati)
6 February (Shillong)
Closing ceremony16 February
Officially opened byNarendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
Officially closed bySarbananda Sonowal
Main venueIndira Gandhi Athletic Stadium (Guwahati)
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Shillong)

Host selectionEdit

The games were originally scheduled to be held in 2012 in Kathmandu, but were postponed to Delhi for 2013 but again, were postponed to late 2015 because of the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association. In 2015 it was decided to further postpone the competition to early 2016, because participating countries felt the December dates did not present enough time for preparation.[6]

Logo, Mascot and AnthemEdit

The MascotEdit

Tikhor, the official mascot used for the games.

On 19 December 2015, Tikhor the baby Indian Rhino was unveiled to the public as the official mascot for the 2016 South Asian Games.[7] According to the organising committee, Tikhor carries the message of Peace, Progress, and Prosperity in the South Asian region.[8][9] This is in line with the official motto, "Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity".

The AnthemEdit

The anthem of the games was chosen to be a famous Assamese song, "Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangan" (The world is a playground) by Bhupen Hazarika, an Indian lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam.[10]

The GamesEdit


There are 228 events in 23 sports scheduled to be held.[2] A total of 764 medals (228 gold, 228 silver and 308 bronze medals) are on offer in 2016 South Asian Games.[11]

Participating nationsEdit

8 countries competed in 2016 South Asian Games.[2]

Participating nations
Location of events in 2016 South Asian Games in India

Medal tallyEdit

As of 16 February 2019.[12]
  The host country is highlighted in lavender
1  India (IND)*1899030309
2  Sri Lanka (SRI)256398186
3  Pakistan (PAK)123757106
4  Afghanistan (AFG)791935
5  Bangladesh (BAN)4155675
6  Nepal (NEP)3233460
7  Maldives (MDV)0213
8  Bhutan (BHU)011516
Totals (8 nations)240240310790


Competition scheduled accurate as of 5 February 2016.[13]

 OC  Opening ceremony  ●   Event competitions  1  Event finals  CC  Closing ceremony
February 2016 5th
  Archery 4 4 8
  Athletics 10 13 12 2 37
  Badminton 2 5 7
  Boxing 1 0
  Cycling 2 2 2 2 8
  Field hockey 1 1 2
  Football 2 2
  Handball 2 2
  Judo 6 6 12
  Kabaddi 2 2
  Kho-Kho 2 2
  Shooting 2 3 2 3 1 2 13
  Squash 2 2 4
  Swimming 8 7 7 8 8 38
  Table tennis 2 1 4 7
  Taekwondo 4 5 4 13
  Tennis 3 2 5
  Triathlon 2 1 3
  Volleyball 2 2
  Weightlifting 4 4 4 2 0
  Wrestling 5 5 6 16
  Wushu 1 2 3 4 5 0
  Ceremonies OC OC CC
Total gold medals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cumulative Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
February 2016 5th


IOA ban and delayEdit

Initially, the Games were expected to be held in October, 2012.[14] However, during the General Body meeting of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on 16 December 2011, it was decided to postpone the Games to February, 2013. The primary concern highlighted was that the original plan meant that the Games would be held only two months after the 2012 Summer Olympics, a fact which made athletes uncomfortable. In addition, the Delhi Government had stated that "accommodation would be a problem during October–November".[15] In April 2012, the IOA sent letters to all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of South Asia, announcing that the Games will be held for eight days beginning from 13 February 2013; further discussions would take place at an all-NOC meeting in Moscow. President of the Nepal Olympic Committee Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan also reported about the proposed additions of fencing, equestrian, gymnastics and the triathlon to the Games schedule.[16] As of January 2013, host city and dates of the games were not yet confirmed.[17]

The International Olympic Committee banned the Indian Committee in March for political interference (the national government played a role in Olympic officials' selection). This delayed the event further as the ban was only lifted in May and the possibility of a low-cost edition of the games was raised among ongoing hosting discussions and poor relations with neighboring Pakistan due to the 2013 India–Pakistan border incidents.[18]

2 years later, on 11 February 2014, the International Olympic Committee decided to lift the ban.[19] Up until now, the Indian side competed in Olympic events such as the Winter Olympic Games as independent participants.

A year later, on 5 June 2015, the uncertainty over the venue to host the 12th South Asian Games ended with the Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association deciding to hold the regional multi-sporting event in Guwahati and Shillong in November–December 2015.[20][21] However, this was postponed even further to a tentative date of February 2016.[22]

ULFA anti-talks faction also pledged support to South Asian Games, which is opposite to its stand on 2007 National Games of India held in Guwahati.[23]

On 3 February 2016, International Basketball Federation (FIBA) stated that it will not recognise the competition because of "unacceptable interference by Indian Olympic Association in affairs of the Basketball Federation of India".[24][25]

Pakistani women's volleyball team is returning to South Asian Games after two decades - for the first time after their participation in 1995 South Asian Games, Madras where they had finished with a bronze medal.[26][27][28] Afghanistan and Pakistan basketball teams will not participate.[29] Union Home ministry had sanctioned 60 crore (US$8.4 million) to the police authorities to upgrade their security apparatus for the South Asian Games.[30]

India granted special concession to Pakistani athletes taking part in the 12th South Asian Games by declaring Guwahati and Kolkata as designated entry points for them.[31]

Further political interferenceEdit

Initially, the Basketball event was scheduled to take place in 11 February, however FIBA, Basketball's world governing body, decided to de-recognise the tournament on the grounds of political interference from the Indian Government and the Indian Olympic Association. This resulted in the entire event being cancelled, so rather having 228 events in 23 sports, the competition change to 226 events in 22 sports causing further scrutiny over the organization of the games.[32]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "South Asian Games to held from Feb 5-16 in Guwahati, Shillong". Zee News. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Sri Lanka to field 484 athletes in 23 disciplines". Daily news. Colombo, Sri Lanka. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  3. ^ "South Asian Games budget up because of terror threat".
  4. ^ "South Asian Games sets in with 'digital' evening". The Indian Express. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  5. ^ "At South Asian Games, it wasn't just the gold that glittered".
  6. ^ "South Asian Games to be postponed further". Times of India. New Delhi, India. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  7. ^ "At the SAF Games in Guwahati, the most visible contest is Congress vs BJP". The Indian Express. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  8. ^ "LOGO & MASCOT launch in Shillong - The Lantern Festival | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  9. ^ "LOGO and MASCOT of 12th South Asian Games, 2016 Launched At Guwahati". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  10. ^ "South Asian Games 2016". www.southasiangames2016.com. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  11. ^ "After multiple delays, South Asian Games begin on Friday".
  12. ^ "Results: Medal Tally". South Asian Games. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Competition Schedule" (PDF). 2016 South Asian Games. Retrieved 5 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Delhi to host 2012 South Asian Games". The Economic Times. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  15. ^ "IOA postpones South Asian Games, scraps recent committees". Rediff. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  16. ^ Khatiwada, Nabin (11 April 2012). "India proposes mid-Feb for hosting South Asian Games". My Republica. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  17. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News". Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  18. ^ Athletics: South Asian Games in danger Archived 2013-06-21 at the Wayback Machine. Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). Retrieved on 2013-06-19.
  19. ^ "Indian athletes at Sochi 2014 able to compete under own flag after Olympic suspension lifted". Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  20. ^ "Uncertainty over SAG ends; Guwahati, Shillong to co-host Games". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  21. ^ "South Asian Games to be held from Dec 10-20". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  22. ^ "12th South Asian Games to be postponed further". Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Ulfa anti-talks faction gives support to South Asian Games - The Times of India". Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  24. ^ "FIBA doesn't recognise 12th South Asian Games, basketball in jeopardy". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  25. ^ "South Asian Games to begin tomorrow after several rounds of delay; India favourites - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 4 February 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  26. ^ Press Trust of India (4 February 2016). "Pakistani athletes feeling at 'home'". Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  27. ^ "Pakistani athletes feeling at 'home'". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  28. ^ "South Asian Games: Pakistani athletes feeling at 'home'". www.oneindia.com. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  29. ^ Stan Rayan. "12th South Asian Games: Afghanistan stays away, Pakistan to follow suit". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  30. ^ "South Asian Games provides much-needed modernisation to security forces".
  31. ^ PTI. "India gives special concession to Pak athletes for South Asian Games". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  32. ^ "South Asian Games: Organisers scrap basketball event". dnaindia. Retrieved 10 February 2016.

External linksEdit