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3rd North East Games 2024: Manipur retain Champion crown with 52 Gold


The “powerhouse” of sports in the northeast, Manipur, hauled a remarkable 130 medals comprising 52 gold, 38 silver, and 40 bronze totalling 130 medals, closely followed by the host state, Nagaland, with 48 gold, 42 silver, and 44 bronze medals (134)

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

The curtain of the 3rd North East Games came to an official close on Saturday night with the “power house” of sports from the northeast, Manipur, retaining and leaving behind the host state, Nagaland, in the second position to emerge as the ultimate winner in the medal tally of 3rd North East Games 2024, where more than 3,000 athletes and officials participated from the eight north eastern states.

The “powerhouse” of sports in the northeast, Manipur, hauled a remarkable 130 medals comprising 52 gold, 38 silver, and 40 bronze totalling 130 medals, closely followed by the host state, Nagaland, with 48 gold, 42 silver, and 44 bronze medals (134), while Assam’s sportspersons, though displaying commendable resilience and skills, had to content the third place with 139 medals which comprises 43 gold, 44 silver, and 52 bronze medals.

The champion of the 3rd edition of the North East Games 2024, Manipur, has showcased unparalleled skill and determination, cementing their legacy as the champions of the previous two edition of the games and retaining the same this edition.

Though the host state, Nagaland, with their impressive performances throughout the many 15 events and even leading the medal tally for two or three days of the games, however, state team had to bow down to the power house Manipur and thereby was placed in the second position.

In addition to the medal’s tally, special recognition was awarded to outstanding individuals and states for their exemplary contributions to the games which included Sikkim bagging the “Fair Play Award” for demonstrating the highest standards of sportsmanship and fair play throughout the event, the “Spirit of Olympic Award” went to Tripura for embodying the values of sportsmanship, unity, and excellence, “Outstanding Sportsman Award” was clinched by Nagaland’s Venuzo Dawhuo, who made history by winning gold medals in two different sports disciplines—Shotput and Discuss throw, while also sealing the gold in belt wrestling in the 100+ category.

Tsuchoi T of Nagaland, who showcased exceptional athleticism and versality by winning four gold medals in athletics including the 5000 metres, mixed rally, and cross-country women’s team events, and also adding feathers to her cap by winning two silver medals in the cross¬-country and 4×4 100 rally.

World Alysh Federation (WAF) president, Adilet Bayaman Uulu, from Kyrgyzstan, who attended the closing ceremony as special guest, in his speech thanked the organizers of the games for extending the invitation to the entire Kyrgyz sports delegation including Asian Alysh Federation (AAF) president, Omarmukhtar Tamboli.

Adilet being grateful for the inclusion of “Belt Wrestling” as an official medal sport in the 3rd North East Games 2024 which he believed contributes to the important goal of full and comprehensive development of the sport not only in India but also throughout the world reminded that “Belt Wrestling” has its roots deep in history and that the type of wrestling was one of the ancient sports and games of the Kyrgyz people.

However, he said that the philosophical, social, and public significance of the game has gradually evolved and with the efforts and great work of its team and multinational family, the belt wrestling has become a global heritage.

Also expounding that in short period of twenty five years when this work was started by his late father, Bayaman Erkinbaev, Adilet shared that the sport has almost grown all over the world and that the same championship and tournaments (belt wrestling) are held annually in Europe, Central and South East Asia, and the Caucasus, and as successors, continue this important work not only in memory of his late father , but also as a meaningful element of intangible cultural values which is essential in an era of oblivion, constant hostility and rivalry.

He also went on to add that all this demonstrates the growing interest of people in this sport, but important to note that the role of a country’s representatives, who day and night promote wrestling at the national level, narrating about the philosophy, spectacle and meaning of belt wrestling in the world context.

Mentioning that nowadays, belt wrestling is known practically in all continents and is extremely happy that this discipline was held for the first time on the “beautiful Indian soil”-Nagaland, Adilet Bayaman Uulu said that the “Belt Wrestling” unites people and nations, thereby turning everyone into one big family that strives to live in peace and harmony.

Furthering his say that the “belt wrestling” has found a home in Nagaland and other parts of India’s northeastern region and has become a popular traditional and local sport, the WAF president hoped that through the efforts of the concerned, the belt wrestling “fighters” would continue to unite more people and in return, it is ready to provide all necessary assistance in achieving the important goal.

He later disclosed that the WAF was actively working on the inclusion of “belt wrestling” in the Asian Games 2026.

Earlier, welcoming the athletes, officials, and other dignitaries, on behalf of the Nagaland state government and on behalf of the organizing committee at the closing ceremony of the 3rd North East Games 2024, held at the Games village, Sovima, Choumoukedima, director, Youth Resources and Sports, Nagaland, Kethosituo Sekhose, said that it faced many challenges from the word “go” in hosting the games, however, the tireless efforts put in by the organizing committee, and most importantly the understanding and cooperation shown by all the more than 3000 athletes and officials from the eight participating states was something “extraordinary” to be cherished.

With the huge response from all the participating states including the host state, Nagaland, Sekhose interpreted with confidence that “nothing is impossible” when efforts are put together.

He maintained that by hosting the 3rd North East Games 2024 in Nagaland, the state has been able to showcase the northeast region not only to the rest of the country but also to the world by stating “We the northeastern states are forced to reckon when it comes to sports and fitness,” and added that the people have demonstrated that lack of modern infrastructures has not dampen their spirits.

He later hoped that the participants would take back home the fond memories and continue to be in touch with each other by spreading the message of “love, peace, and harmony” as they go on to participate in higher level competitions.

Assam Olympic Association (AOA) treasurer, Tapan Das, gave the concluding remarks while vice-president, NESA, and president, Sikkim Olympic Association (SOA), Kuber Bhandari, declared the game closed.

It may be mentioned that the 3rd edition of the North East Games 2024 kick-started with spectacular opening ceremony on March 18 night by Nagaland chief minister, and also the president of Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA), Neiphiu Rio, at the Games village, Sovima, Choumoukedima, to celebrate spirit of athleticism and sportsmanship, where he categorically said that the kind of games and sports festival bring people together and appreciated the North East Sports Association (NESA) for their large hearted in bringing the eight northeastern states together to share a platform through sporting events.

The more than 3000 athletes vied for the 1400 medals in 15 disciplines held in 12 venues across three districts of the state.

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