ITANAGAR, Dec 18: Arunachal Pradesh ruled the roost with 68 medals at the 5th North East India Karate Do Championship, which concluded at the Nyokum Lapang ground here on Monday.
Arunachal bagged 45 gold, 12 silver, and an equal number of bronze to emerge overall champion. Assam finished second with 18 gold, 29 silver and 14 bronze medals, followed by Meghalaya (9, 13, 26) in the third position.
Interestingly, Manipur, considered a powerhouse of Indian sports, finished a lowly seventh (0, 7, 14).
Other medal winning states/teams were Mizoram (2, 7, 14), Assam Rifles (3,1, 1), Nagaland (1,0,6), Sikkim (0,4, 17), Darjeeling Gorkha Karate Association (0, 2, 7) and Arunachal Pradesh Police Sports Control Board (0, 2, 3).
In total, 470 players and officials took part in the championship.
Sports and Youth Affairs Jt Secretary, Mige Kamki felicitated Arunachal Karate Do Association (AKA) President, ‘Shihan’ Likha Tara and AKA Technical Director S Deben Sarma, in recognition of their silent and untiring efforts for promotion and development of karate in Arunachal Pradesh.
Kamki said Tara has taken a lot of pain while Sarma worked silently for more than 30 years for popularizing and developing karate in Arunachal Pradesh.
“The tree they planted three decades ago has started to bear fruit,” he said, and exuded confidence that under the duo’s leadership karate would achieve more popularity.
Sports Authority of Arunachal (SSA) Chairman Bamang Tago said Itanagar and Naharlagun are emerging as a new sports hub with various sports activities taking place regularly.
Stating that the people of Arunachal Pradesh are very hospitable and friendly in nature, he expressed hope that the participants would carry back fond memories of the state.
Karate Association of India Referee Commission Member, Rajnesh Choudhary, advised the young karate players to participate in such competitions as much as possible.
“The more you participate in competitions, the more you can learn,” he said.
AKA President Likha Tara, the main force behind the event, said the just concluded-championship would go a long way in starting a new chapter for karate in the region.
He said the event would not have been such a success without the teamwork that was exhibited by all the members of the AKA.