Athlete Hassan Saaid and the national Table Tennis team of Maldives made landfall on Tuesday, following the conclusion of a historic campaign at the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) 2019, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Achieving multiple firsts at SAG for the country was runner Saaid, with his gold in the 100-metre sprint, and the first medals in their respective sports for the Women's Table Tennis team, Basketball team and Football team. In addition to Saaid's gold, the athlete secured a bronze finish in the 200-metre sprint. This is Maldives' first gold since its participation at the inaugural SAG in 1984.
The contingent was received at the Republic Square by a ceremony attended by various state officials. The athletes were escorted to the President's Office where President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih welcomed and congratulated the athletes.
Speaking at the meeting, President Solih cited the momentous occasion as evidence that careful planning and adequate facilities can produce successful results at major international sporting events.
Moreover, President Solih acknowledged the increase of women involvement in sports and gave his assurance that his government will not tolerate gender bias or discrimination, and that every athlete will have access to equal opportunities.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof, hailed the 2019 Maldives' contingent as the strongest team of athletes the country has assembled for a sporting event.