Sardar Singh and Gurwinder Singh Chandi with the torch of 17th Asian Games (IANS)
New Delhi, Aug 9: The 2014 Asian Games torch relay started Saturday from the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium, the first venue of the Games, with some of India’s top sportspersons taking part in the relay run along the historical Rajpath here. It is the first time that the torch relay started from the National Stadium, which had hosted the first Asian Games in 1951. In the past the torch was generally lit at the host country but from now on the torch relay will start from the National Stadium.
The Asian Games will be held in the South Korean city of Incheon from Sep 19 to Oct 4. Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president N.Ramachandran, secretary-general Rajeev Mehta, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) secretary-general Randhir Singh and president of Incheon Asian Games organising committee Young Soo Kim were present at the event.
The torch was first handed over to Ramachandran, who then passed it to shooter Gagan Narang to kick-off the torch relay. Hockey stars Sardar Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Chandi, boxer Pinki Jhangra, squash player Dipika Pallikal also took part in the relay in which 40 runners took part.
The OCA will be continuing with this tradition for all the Asian Games. The torch will now travel through Weihai, China, and will arrive in Incheon Aug 13.