4th Military World Games kicks off today in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, Oct 14 : President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will declare the week-long 4th Military World Games, which is considered as the second biggest sporting event after the Olympics, open here later in the day.

The opening ceremony of the mega event being held in the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad will also be attended by Defence Minister A.K Antony, and Defence Ministers and army generals of several participating nations at the Gachibowli Complex.

Tight security arrangements have been made for the Games in the wake of the blasts here in August this year and subsequent intelligence inputs that the main venue of the Games was on terror group's target.

A staggering presence of close to 25000 security personnel- both military, paramilitary and police, is in the city for the Games, which will conclude on October 21.

Representatives of the Conseil International du Sport Militaire's (CISM), the international governing body for the Games, had reviewed the security preparedness on August 23, two days before the serial blasts, and had then expressed their satisfaction with the arrangements.

After the blasts, the Defence Ministry and the Army constantly monitored the situation, and decided not to bring any big change in the schedule of the Games.

Close to 6,000 athletes from 106 countries are taking part in the sporting extravaganza, which has 1,076 medals in different games and sports.

Five countries are participating as observers in this event, which is taking place first time outside Europe. The CISM Military World Games are held every four years, a year prior to the Olympics.

A total of 13 disciplines— Pentathlon, Shooting, Parachuting, Athletics, Triathlon, Swimming, Sailing, Boxing, Wresting, Judo, Football, Handball and Volleyball—are being held, with hockey and kabaddi being scrapped due to 'lack of participation'. However, these two sports will be organised only for demonstration.

Polo will be held as an exhibition discipline. (ANI)