Northeast Olympic Games | Manipur wins title forsecond time in a row, Assam take second spot

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Northeast Olympic Games | Manipur wins title forsecond time in a row, Assam take second spot

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SportsCafe Desk


The second edition of the regional multi-sport competition came to a close here on Wednesday, with powerhouse Manipur taking first place for the second consecutive time with 237 medals, including 85 gold. Assam came in second place with 201 medals (81 gold, 60 silver, 60 bronze) in competition.

While Meghalaya, the host state, finished fourth with 149 medals (36 gold, 35 silver, and 78 bronze), a far better performance than their sixth-place showing with 39 medals in the inaugural edition, Arunachal Pradesh took third place.

When Manipur held the first Games in October 2018, it also had the most medals (80 gold, 49 silver, and 33 bronze). Manipur, which has produced Olympic medalists like weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and boxer MC Mary Kom, passed Assam on Tuesday and maintained its lead by capturing 17 medals, including seven gold, on the last day.

In the championship game on Wednesday, the U-17 Manipuri women's football team—which includes a few players for the national team—bested Arunachal Pradesh 3-0. In all, 3000 competitors competed over 12 different Shillong sites in 18 different disciplines.

There were 12 disciplines at the inaugural Manipur edition. Under the direction of the Northeast Olympic Association, the Meghalayan government and state olympic association are organising the games (NEOA). The event was entirely supported by the Meghalayan government.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the second iteration of the Games was originally scheduled to take place in Arunachal Pradesh in 2019, however Shillong was chosen as the new host city. The third iteration of the Northeast Olympic Games will take place in Nagaland.

Hosts In the team competition for athletics, Meghalaya won, while Manipur won for archery. The shooting team championship was won by Assam. Conrad Sangma, the chief minister of Meghalaya, said that despite infrastructure constraints, the Games went off without a hitch.

"There were infrastructure limitations but, by and large, the Games had run smoothly, without many problems. The number of participating athletes was double the number in the first edition. So we are happy. "Infrastructure development takes time. But in the next one or one and a half years, we are working towards having world-class facilities in the state. We are investing a lot of money for sports infrastructure development," Sangma, who is the Chief Patron of the Games, said.

According to John F. Kharshiing, active president of the Meghalaya Olympic Association, the Games celebrated the athletic prowess of the eight states in northeast India while also fostering camaraderie among them. "Sport is a part of daily life in northeast India and the Northeast Olympic Games are a celebration of that. Apart from promoting solidarity among the eight states, we are also giving a platform for the younger players to get ready for bigger events," he told PTI.

However, a large number of regional athletes competing at the national and international levels choose not to compete. A few competitions had U-17 and U-21 divisions as well. Although the exact date of the event is yet unknown, Meghalaya has been given the honour of hosting the 39th National Games. According to Kharshiing, the Northeast Olympic Games served as a "dry run" for the larger competition.

"We had hosted a few disciplines of the South Asian Games in 2016 (co-hosted with Guwahati) and we had the infrastructure. Now our main aim is the 39th National Games for which we have signed a tri-partite agreement with the IOA. These Northeast Olympic Games are a dry run for the National Games," said Kharshiing, who serves as the Northeast Olympic Association's secretary general.

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