State proud of karatekas: Natung
ITANAGAR, Nov 12: The sports & youth affairs department on Tuesday felicitated the medal winning players in the just-concluded 5th Cadet, Junior, U-21 and Senior South Asian Karate Championship at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The department also felicitated Karate Association of India president Likha Tara, India coach S Deben Sharma, and technical official Bulang Marik. Tara and Sharma are also the president and general secretary, respectively, of the Arunachal Karate Do Association (AKA), and Marik is the AKA’s acting president.
The karate players from the state made the country proud by contributing six gold and a silver medal to India’s total medal tally (of 32 gold, nine silver and 10 bronzes).
Johny Mangkhiya, Karsang Yanga and Nani Leriak won a gold medal each in the women’s section, while Raja Yangfo, Doni Neri and Anand Cheri bagged a gold medal each in the men’s category.
Mangkhiya and Yangfo also bagged a silver and bronze medal each in the women’s and men’s team kumite events.
The lone individual silver medal for the state was won by Bahadur Ekke.
Attending the felicitation programme, Sports Minister Mama Natung heaped praise on the karate players of the state for making the country and the state proud.
“It is a matter of great pride that they have performed superbly with limited facilities and resources,” he said.
The minister assured to provide financial assistance to the medal winning karatekas as a token of appreciation.
He gave assurance that he would impress upon Chief Minister Pema Khandu to allocate enough fund to the sports & youth affairs department in the next state budget.
“It has always been the policy of the government led by Chief Minister Khandu to promote sports and support talented players,” he said, and advised the players to focus only on a single sport.
Karate Association India (KAI) president Likha Tara said he was satisfied with the performance of the national team that finished atop the medal table in the championship.
“Our next target will be to win medals in the Asian Karate Championship conducted by the Asian Karate Federation,” the KAI president, who has recently been appointed as the Commonwealth Karate Federation’s vice president, said.
Assistant Sports Director Karbia Dodum advised the players that their ultimate goal should be the Olympic Games. He informed that incentives “as per the provision” would be provided to the medal winners.
Team India coach S Deben Sharma briefed about the championship and the performance of the national team.
AKA acting president Bulang Marik also spoke.
Present on the occasion, among others, were Youth Affairs Joint Director Ramesh Linggi, and AKA officials Yarda Niki and Tai Hipik.