Kathmandu, Nepal, November 26, 2019: Host nation Nepal has trimmed its athletes contingent at the 13th South Asian Games to 597 after cutting back on numbers in athletics, weightlifting and paragliding, the latter which has been cut from the competition schedule. Nepal will field a squad of 597 in all 26 sports comprising of 313 male and 284 female athletes at the December 1-10 Games in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Paragliding was scrapped owing to insufficient numbers of athletes registering from visiting teams. “The number of players was reduced on the basis of the recommendation from the respective sports associations,” said Rim Bahadur Ranabhat, the coordinator of the National Team Preparation Committee. “The list previously published was of players who were in the final phase of training camps. The updated list is on the basis of final entry by numbers,” Ranabhat added. Meanwhile the Nepal National Sports Council has announced insurance coverage for all participants at the regional showpiece. Foreign athletes and officials will each have insurance coverage of Rs. 500,000 (around US$4,300), while Nepali athletes and officials have insurance coverage amounting to Rs. 1 million (around US$8,600). The council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IME General Insurance Limited, the insurance partner of the Games on Monday, November 25. The insurance scheme covers any accident-related injuries during the 10-day event. “The safety and security of the athletes are of paramount importance for the Games’ success,” said Ramesh Kumar Silwal, member secretary of the council and coordinator of the Games Executive Committee. The regional sporting extravaganza will bring together around 6,000 athletes and officials from seven countries.