Monday, December 04, 2006

Qatar stages magnificent opening ceremony for the Games

DOHA: Arabian horses galloped against a shimmering backdrop of thousands of neon-lit pearls as the 15th and biggest Asian Games opened with a multi-million dollar sensory feast on Friday.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani declared open Asia's biggest ever celebration of sport during a spectacular display of fireworks, twinkling lights and traditional Asian dancing, played to the sound of 40,000 beating drums.

The climax of a lavish ceremony came when the Emir's son Mohammad, the Qatari endurance team captain, charged up the steps of the Khalifa Stadium on a pure-bred Arab gelding to light the 50m cauldron that will burn throughout the Games.
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