Ranchi, Feb 27 (IANS) Thousands came to watch the glittering closing ceremony of the 34th National Games at the Birsa Munda Athletic Stadium here. The 35,000-capacity venue was jam packed as people enjoyed a cultural evening featuring Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif and singer Shaan.
In his address, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda said that with the successful holding of the Games, the state has proved that it too can match the Commonwealth Games.
The infrastructure created for the National Games at the Mega Sports Complex at Hotwar, Ranchi is at par with the best in the country. This was duly acknowledged by visiting officials and the participating players, Munda said.
Munda added that all efforts would be made to utilise the infrastructure for promoting sports as well as convert it to a Sports University.
The ambience, the programming, and the execution of the entire ceremony left everybody spell-bound.
It began with a monoplane performing aerobatics and showering colored powder on the stadium. It was followed by an Indian Air Force helicopter showering flowers on the stadium, followed by the para-jump by 12 dare devils of the IAF, who jumped from a height of 4,300 feet and came to land in the middle of the stadium. An ear-shattering round of applause greeted the feat.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chairman Suresh Kalmadi formally declared the 15-day Games closed and the Games flag was ceremoniously handed over to the Kerala officials. Kerala will be hosting the 35th National Games in December 2012.
The cultural evening showcased the cultural heritage and folk dances from the participating states, with a team from Kerala displaying their local martial arts.
Shaan enthralled the crowd for more than 30 minutes by singing popular hits on demand. Katrina Kaif made a brief appearance at the end of the show and danced to couple of her hit songs.