Medal winners from the South Asian Games were accorded a red carpet welcome at the capital’s Republic Square upon their return from Nepal on Tuesday morning.
Hassan Saaid, who won a historic gold in the 100-meter run, and the bronze-winning women’s table tennis team were greeted by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and senior government officials.
After a ceremonial welcome at the official jetty in Malé, Solih met with the athletes at the president’s office and assured the government’s cooperation and support to achieve further milestones. It is a source of national pride for the Maldives to have the fastest man in South Asia, a region of 1.7 billion people, he said.
Saaid’s medal in the 100 meter event was the first gold won in the competition by the Maldives. The army sergeant also won a bronze medal in the 200 meter dash.
In his remarks, Solih also assured the government’s support without discrimination based on gender or type of sport. A large population was not necessary for international success, he added, pledging to develop new facilities as envisioned in the government’s strategic action plan.
The women’s football and basketball teams also won bronze medals in their events but are scheduled to return at a later date. The regional tournament concluded in Nepal on Tuesday.
— The President's Office (@presidencymv) December 10, 2019
Table tennis 🥉
So happy to be home with the best ever result in a SA Games.
In Sha Allah with more effort we’ll go for a surprising result in 2021 SA Games.🇲🇻 pic.twitter.com/PtCbR3roLK
— Ahmed Mahloof (@AhmedMahloof) December 10, 2019
Hon. Defence Minister @MariyaDidi welcomes home @MNDF_Official's SGT Hassan Saaid, who made history by clinching the 1st Gold Medal for #Maldives at the South Asian Games. We, at MoD, are immensely proud of @saaidkalhey & all our athletes who competed at the Games. pic.twitter.com/DGhj6ZQOmQ
— Ministry of Defence (@MoDmv) December 10, 2019