In a unique spirit of true sportsmanship, coupled with camaraderie and enthusiastic vigour, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development whose vision saw this mammoth arrangement a reality a few years ago, declared the 7th Defence Services Games - 2012 opened at Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium on Saturday (1).
Over 1200 athletes of Army, Navy and Air Force who have exceptional talents in athletics gathered at the venue to showcase their prowess in athletics.
Badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, cricket, kabaddi, karate, parachuting, sailing, rugby, football, swimming, squash, table tennis, water games, weight lifting, gymnastics, wushu and several other events will see the best of more than 1000 servicemen and women competing for supremacy in the tournament.
Six events took place during the inaugural sessions and two new records in 800m Women and 5000m Women were also made on Saturday (1).
Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetillake, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral D.W.A.S. Dissanayake, Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal H.D Abeywickrama and a host of senior tri-service officers attended the inaugural ceremony as distinguished guests at the invitation of Defence Services Games Committee.
Over 1200 athletes participating at the Games paraded the stadium waving team flags at the crowd to the cheers and applause of their colleagues. Following this, the torch bearers of the Games ran the length of the stadium before lighting the Olympic flame to the sound of drums.
After marching in and the hoisting of the Defense Services Flag, the Chairman of the Defence Services Games 2012, Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared opened the Games.
This was followed by the athletes, represented by the three captains of the teams and officials participating at the Games taking the oaths at the podium as per tradition of sports.
The celebratory mood of the opening ceremony began after the athletes marched out and the spectators were treated to a spectacular display by the Tri Services cultural pageant.