3 international teams arrive for WMG

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Pune, Oct 6: The stage is all set for the fourth Military World Games (WMG) to be held at Hyderabad from October 14 to 21 as three international teams -- North Korea, Ireland and Belgium arriving in the country today.

The three teams are the first to arrive out of the record number of 102 countries participating in the games, who will be vying for top honours.

Briefing mediapersons here today, Chief of Staff Southern Command Lt Gen R K Chabbra said that considering the recent threat from terrorists, adequate measures have been taken to provide best security arrangements to the teams which are assembling in Hyderabad. Besides the Army, 20,000 police personnel will be deployed under the supervision of Director General of Police Andhra Pradesh, Gen Chabbra informed.

The army will be managing the security at the venue of the Games and the lodging of the teams.

Gen Chabbra, who is the chairman of the organising committee, expressed satisfaction on security arrangements and added that the games will go through uninterrupted and will be a big success.

The fourth edition of the Games to be held at Hyderabad and Mumbai, which will be hosting the sailing and triathlon events, will witness seven Olympians among a total of 5,110 participants both men and women who will be competing for 1,076 medals -- gold , silver and bronze, Gen Chabbra elaborated.

Pakistan, though member of the International Military Sports Council, controlling the World Military Games, has not confirmed its participation while Iran has confirmed its participation despite being at loggerheads with USA regarding the nuclear issue, Gen Chabbra pointed out.

CISM, comprising 128 countries, uses the field of sports to unite the armed forces of nations that may have previously have confronted each other because of political and ideological differences.

''Friendship through Sports'' is the motto of the World Military Games which are held every four years.

The next Games will be hosted by Brazil in 2011. The inaugural Military Games were held in Rome in 1995 wherein 4,017 sportspersons took part from 93 countries in 17 disciplines of sports. Four years later it was held in Zareb in which 6,734 sportspersons took part from 82 countries. The third edition of the games was held in Catania, Italy where 3,404 athletes from 87 countries participated.

The fourth edition of the Games have been awarded to Hyderabad after the CISM Officials were satisfied with the arrangements during the first Afro Asian Games held in October 2003, Maj Gen B P S Hundal said.

A total of 13 disciplines will be conducted for both men and women. Women athletes will not figure in boxing and wrestling events, Gen Hundal added.

President Pratibha Patil, who is also the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces, will formally declare the Games open on October 14, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be the guest of honour at the final prize distribution function, Gen Hundal added.

Germany has the largest contingent of 209 athletes while India, which entered the Games in 2006, expects to garner more medals in the Games. India had won a solitary medal in the last edition of the Games. Besides Germany and India, the other major countries are USA, China, Russia, Canada, Italy, Holland, Turkey and Belarus, Gen Hundal added.

UNI

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