ITANAGAR, 10 Nov: The Arunachal Pradesh government honoured the state’s medal-winning players of the 37th National Games in an impressive function at the banquet hall here on Friday.
Sports Minister Mama Natung and Education Minister Taba Tedir, along with Sports Secretary Abu Tayeng, Sports Director Tadar Appa and Arunachal Olympic Association (AOA) secretary-general Bamang Tago presented khadas and bouquets to the athletes. They congratulated the athletes and the officials for their impressive and best-ever performance.
Speaking on the occasion, Natung exhorted the athletes, coaches and instructors to “work extra hard in order to qualify and win medals in the next Asian Games to be held in Japan in 2026.”
Terming the just concluded National Games “historic,” Natung expressed hope that athletes of the state will win more medals in the next National Games.
After learning that a few athletes from Arunachal had represented the Services in the just concluded Games and won medals for them, the sports minister said that he would discuss with the chief minister if the athletes can be employed in government jobs in Arunachal, “so that they can play for the state.”
Weightlifters Charu Pesi and Kojum Taba, representing the Services, won a gold medal each in the just concluded Games.
The sports minister expressed happiness that the female athletes have contributed more medals than their male counterparts this time. “Nine medals out of the total 13 were won by female athletes,” he said.
Natung informed that the state government has approved the AOA’s proposal for construction of a multipurpose sports facility at Mudda Happa, near the Donyi-Polo Airport, with an estimated cost of Rs 148 crore. He said that the project proposal has already been sent to the central government.
Tedir, who is also the AOA president, emphasised on the need for organising state Olympic Games every two years by making it a calendar sports event of the state government.
“The state Olympic Games, if organised regularly, will go a long way in identifying the hidden sports talents,” he said, and added that “construction of a composite sports complex is the need of the hour.”
“We (Arunachal) will be number one in sports among the NE states if the infrastructure is provided, along with proper training to the athletes,” he said.
Tedir urged Natung and Sports Secretary Tayeng to take up the matters with the government.
Tayeng and Tago encouraged the athletes to perform better in the future.
Earlier, chef de mission Bulang Marik and deputy chef de mission Nada Apa presented details of the team’s performance.
A total of 10,147 athletes from 28 states and 8 UTs had participated in the Games. From Arunachal, 34 athletes, including 21 female athletes, had participated in it, Marik said.
Arunachal achieved its best-ever performance in the Goa National Games with 13 medals, including six gold, two silver and five bronze medals. Arunachal finished third, behind Manipur and Assam, in the medal table among the northeastern states, and 21st in the country, overall, they said.
They further informed that the state has gone past its previous record of seven medals (six gold and one silver) set during the previous edition of the Games in Gujarat.
Wushu players contributed four gold, one silver and one bronze medals to the state’s total medal tally, followed by Taekwondo [Gold-2, Sil-1, Br-3], and weightlifting [Br-1].
The gold medal winners were (Wushu) Onilu Tega, Yorna Rosni, Nyeman Wangsu, and Mercy Ngaimong, (Taekwondo) the pair of Radha Bangsia and Ontey Khamblai, the trio of Khinsan Wangsu, Lumter Uli and Achum Sangha. The silver medals were won by Mepung Lamgu (Wushu) and Muskan Manyu (Taekwondo). The bronze medals were won by Bengia Tani (weightlifting), Rikpy Nyodu (Taekwondo), Miching Taja (Taekwondo), Realu Boo (Wushu) and the trio of Ontey Khamblai, Kame Bayang and Miching Taja (Taekwondo).
A programme was organised by Department of Sports in collaboration with AOA.
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