Vadodara: The 'tug-of-war' contest, touted as the world's largest, kicked off on Monday at Bharuch in Gujarat wherein 5,000 competitors are taking part to set a new world record.
The event is organised by the Bharuch district collectorate as part of "Khel Kumbh" the biggest sports event of Gujarat Government first initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the CM of the state.
Union Minister Prakash Javdekar, who was present at the opening ceremony in Bharuch, 90 kms from here, said he was confident that the tournament will set a new world record by breaking the previous record of organising the largest such event which is held by China.
"I am happy to learn that 5,000 competitors from 616 teams from Bharuch district are taking part in this two-day 'tug-of-war' tournament. I hope this tournament will break the world record set by China," Mr Javadekar said.
He said the game has indigenous roots.
"The tug-of-war, also known as tug 'o' war, tug war, rope war or rope pulling, is a sport that directly pits two teams against each other in a test of strength.
"The contest of pulling on the rope originated from ancient ceremonies and rituals. The sport is played almost in every part of India as well as in other countries," the Environment and Forests Minister said.
According to Bharuch collector Vikrant Pandey, the world's largest such tournament was held in China in 2010 wherein a total of 1,280 competitors from 128 teams had participated.
"A new world record will be set after the competition concludes tomorrow," Mr Pandey said.
The event was inaugurated by Gujarat Minister of State for Food and Civil Supply Chhatrasinh Mori.