Manipur did it once again. Leave Services, which is probably the most organised and well funded set up in this country and no other state could match the might of Manipur. 48 gold, 37 silver and 33 bronze; a total of 118 medals, till reports last came in. Manipur has proved once again that it is the sports powerhouse of the country.
The stellar performance of Manipur is not a flicker. In the 33rd National Games in Assam, Manipur held the top slot among states winning a total of 123 medals which included 51 gold. The competition has only increased after Assam National Games in which around 6800 athletes participated. In the ongoing Jharkhand National Games, which is the biggest ever National Game held, more than 8000 sportspersons are participating. And despite increased participation and hence competition, Manipur may well equal and even better its tall in the time left. In any case there is no doubt that Manipur has maintained its edge, .
In the 32nd National Games held in Hyderabad, it was Hyderabad that won the top slot winning 93 gold, 86 silver and 63 bronze. Punjab had won 54 gold and a total of 146 medals. Manipur was way below them. The script was different just after 5 years in the 33rd National Games in Assam in 2007. Andhra Pradesh which had won 93 gold medals as a host in 2002 won a total of just 95 medals in 2007 which included merely 17 gold medals. Punjab had 25 gold and a total of 104 medals to its credit in 33rd Assam National Games.
Many told that in the 33rd National Games held in Assam many players from these states didn’t participate due to militant threats and hence Manipur had a cakewalk. Manipur proved its critics wrong this time by winning a record number of medals. It beat Madhya Pradesh and then Maharashtra after trailing occasionally only to hop back to the top slot. At one time it looked determined to beat event the Services but for some phenomenal performance by Army Jawans. Andhra won just 5 gold medals and 49 medals overall while Punjab won 113 medals which includes 22 gold.
There is a lesson for policy makers and commentators sitting across in Delhi who have never paid the land of Manorama Devi and Irom Sharmila its due. Thanks to the mothers of Manipur who showed to the rest of India that Manipur can do sports better than anybody. Interestingly, in the incredible show of Manipur it is the womenfolk who have emerged on the scene, something we have been writing in these columns for last two weeks.
The number of medals won by Manipuri women bear testimony to this fact. Of the 112 sportsperson in both the group and individual events who won gold medals for Manipur, 75 are women players and only 37 are men. And of the 80 Manipuri sportspersons who won silver medals, 65 are women. Not even bronze was left for men. Of the 55 bronze medal Manipuris won, 31 were won by the female players. That amounts to a total of 171 medals out of 247 medals that was won by Manipur.
India’s mothers have a lesson to learn from the performance of the womenfolk of Manipur. For the sports critics and the rest, wait for the 35th National Games just after a year in Kerala in 2012. On the part of other northeastern states including Sikkim, it’s time to rethink their sports strategy.
Tripura’s all gold show: Courtesy-Dipa Karmakar
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February 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm
Thanks iSikkim!!! I try to see the comments about the performance of Manipur in the 34th national games 2011, but surprisingly I saw your website. Yes u are right, Manipur is a state with low population with small infrastructure for sports, there are lacks of sponsored for sports person, but did a superb performance in the national games, and bag second position. U know, more than 28 golds were bags by Manipuries who play for other states, For services Manipur bags around 10 golds. so and so. thanks again
February 27, 2011 at 6:07 am
Services has once again topped the National Games 2011 medal tally. But please remember, the services have all the facilities available at their disposal. All the sports analysts should rather ponder over the fact that a small state like Manipur severely affected by political violence and social turmoil have maintained the second position for the last few games. It was even disheartening to watch DD Sports anchors and analysts’ refraining from giving their comments on the victory of this small state over all the other states in the games. Manipur is first amongst all the states in India that have topped the medal tally. Despite a good show by Haryana, specifically in wrestling and boxing, it could not beat Manipur. Maharashtra and Delhi with the best sports training facilities still could not beat Manipur. Next state to watch out for is Jharkhand. By the way if anyone takes a cursory glance at the Gold Medal winners from all the states, s/he will acknowledge the fact that many more gold medals were won by sports-persons of Manipur origin. Ten Gold medals for Services (Team as well as individuals) were won by players of Manipur origin, Four Gold (individual) in Wushu for Delhi, Six Gold medals for Maharashtra and numerous others including weightlifting. Please acknowledge there is no sports persons of other states migrating to Manipur for better performance or to better Manipur’s position.
For this edition of the National Games, I think many sports journos and commentators have missed out some facts. 35 Manipuri atheltes and players won medals for Services, 17 of them won medals for Jharkhand, 11 for Delhi, six for Kerala, 34 for Madhya Pradesh, two for Uttar Pradesh, one for Karnataka, two for Andhra Pradesh, 21 for Assam, two for Orissa and one for Bihar. Their total sums up to 132 Manipuri players. 132 is the sporting “export” figure from Manipur and Zero is the “import” figure.