[ M Doley ]
ITANAGAR, Oct 28: Arunachal Pradesh finished third, behind champion Manipur and runner-up Assam, in the first North East Olympic Games (NEOG), which concluded here in Manipur on Sunday.
Arunachal bagged 18 gold, 20 silver and 38 bronze medals, while Manipur bagged 79 gold, 47 silver and 31 bronze medals. Assam won 45 gold, 52 silver and 41 bronze medals to finish runner-up.
Arunachal won two medals on the final day – one in boxing and the other in archery.
Boxer John Tagru settled for the silver after he lost 1-4 to his opponent from Nagaland in the final.
The archers bagged a bronze in the Indian round of the women’s team event.
Arunachal lost to Meghalaya in the third place decider in men’s football. They lost 0-3 to Manipur in the semifinal.
However, Arunachal became champion in karate discipline with nine gold and a bronze medal, and was the runner-up in weightlifting [5 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze] and badminton [1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze] events.
Meanwhile, the North East Olympic Association [NEOA] in its executive body meeting held here on Saturday awarded Arunachal Pradesh the turn to host the next NEOG in 2020.
Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh, who declared the five-day event closed this evening, handed over the Games’ flag to Arunachal Olympic Association Secretary General Abraham K Techi.
“We have been awarded to host the Games in 2020 by NEOA seeing our good performance in the just concluded Games,” Techi, who was appointed as the secretary general of the NEOA on Saturday, said.
The NE Olympic Games will be held every two years, he said.
“All the participating states were all praise for Arunachal for its excellent performance despite lack of infrastructure, coaches and trainers,” Techi said.
“The presence of Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Dr Mohesh Chai during the first two days of the Games boosted the morale of the athletes,” he said, and hailed the minister for his concern for the athletes and development of games and sports in Arunachal.
Later, Techi informed that Manipur Education Minister Th Radheshyam Singh has been appointed as the president of the NEOA.