THE 5TH NATIONAL GAMES, IMPHAL,
MANIPUR (14TH - 25TH FEB. 1999)
"At the Closing of the
Games, Championship Trophy Was Handed over to
Manipur on the Basis of Points.
They Topped the List with 484 Points,
Followed by Kerala Who Was Not
Trailing by Much. Kerala Had 481 Points
Although Kerala Topped the List
with Highest Number of Gold Medals".
A. THE ARRIVAL
OF PLAYERS FROM OTHER STATES:
Manipuri Warmth Comes to Fore
DECCAN HERALD, Feb. 13, 1999
Vijay Michael Raj
The seven thousand-odd athletes and officials who will converge for the
fifth National Games in the Manipur capital have a picturesque sight to
look forward to. The Games Village is located at the foot of the Meitei
Langhol hills, a range of over six hills which forms the backdrop to the
800-odd staying quarters built for the purpose.
It does make a pretty picture with the majestic hillocks dotted with
greenery, overlooking the makeshift residential houses.
And, today two days before the Games, which begin on Sunday (February
14), the hills in their silent splendour, overlooked the buzz of
activity down below. Security personnel, NCC cadets, Games officials and
busloads of athletes all milled around on the main road which runs
through the village. The accomodation centre, located at the entrance,
was abuzz with athletes and officials making enquiries. The reception
sub-committee housed in a large tent saw the four officials patiently
and politely clearing enquiries. Even as the local Games officials and
committees were at their best to ensure a hassle-free atmosphere to the
visitors, the Manipur police were doing their bit to keep away expected
trouble. The approach road to the Games village was also lined with
armed gunmen for over 500 metres from the entrance to the village. All
vehicles and visitors were checked before entry, as the ongoing
militant`s trouble in the region have forced tight security measures.
Meanwhile, the contingents from different states were arriving in bits
and pieces. Only Sikkim with their 35-member outfit have arrived in
full, said an official in the reception sub-committee.
The first batch of the Karnataka contingent meanwhile, which left
Bangalore on February 6, finally reached Manipur today. M D Jaisimha, a
basketball umpire back home but here as a Karnataka Olympic Association
(KOA) observer said about 200 members including athletes and officials
from the state have so far reached Manipur. The group, which had a
five-day long journey by train and road faced an eight- hour delay at
Howrah due to the West Bengal strike.
While the journey was arduous, the reception accorded was however warm,
both at Guwahati and Dimapur, from where the group travelled by bus to
Imphal, said the KOA appointee. He also added that the cycling team had
arrived in total alongwith members from the fencing, gymnastics and
Athletes and oficials kept pouring in even as dusk approached. But
despite that, the warmth and generosity of the Manipur people in their
efforts to make the Games a big success, shone long after darkness had
B. COLOURFUL OPENING
TO NATIONAL GAMES
The Hindustan Times
Imphal, February 14, 1999
The rich cultural heritage of ‘the land of jewels', Manipur, was in
abundant display as the fifth National Games was inaugurated bringing
the biggest sporting event of the northeastern region to fruition
President KR Narayanan declared the Games open at the Khuman Lampak main
stadium in the heart of Imphal after exhorting the youth to vigorously
pursue sport which cut across all barriers and spread equality. The
newly-built facility was packed to more than its 20,000 capacity
entire Imphal city turned out to cheer the participants for the 12-day
event running upto Feb 25.
Manipur bodybuilder Maipak Singh, former ‘Mr India' who took part in the
1971 ‘Mr Universe' contest at Athens, lit the National Games flame
after the torch was relayed in the final stages by Nilkamal Singh,
first Olympian from the state, and his fellow hockey internationals
Tikken Singh and Thoiba Singh. Diminutive woman weightlifter,
Nameirakpam Kunjarani Devi took oath on behalf of an assembly of
over 7,000 participants in the Games who will compete in 27 medal
First Lady Usha Narayanan, Union Minister of State for Sports Uma
Bharti, Manipur Governor ON Shrivastava, Chief Minister W Nipamacha
Singh, Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Mahanta and his Arunachal Pradesh
counterpart Mukut Mithi and Indian Olympic Association President
Kalmadi were among the host of dignitaries present. In a function
lasting over three-and-a-half hours which symbolised national
integration through sports and the effort to bring international
standard infrastructure for the highly talented sportspersons from the
northeastern region, age-old Manipur music and art forms mingled
the formal part of the ceremony.
The function began with the playing of ‘Manipur Sana Leimayon' (Manipur
my golden land) in traditional Khongjon Parva (folk) style and the
entire stadium erupted in applause as the daring sky diving display by
Indian Air Force followed. The President, on his arrival at the stadium
soon after, was received to the music of Lam-een Pena (ancient stringed
instrument of Manipur) and the blowing of conches. The tricolour
alongwith the flags of Indian and Manipur Olympic Associations went up
before the ceremonial marchpast of the 32 teams, including services,
Members of the Manipur Police led the group bearing saffron, white and
green flags denoting the national tricolour followed by the athletes,
last year's hosts and overall champions Karnataka leading the way.
Hosts Manipur, who have entered the biggest squad in the games numbering
over 700 participants, marched in last, smartly attired in maroon
blazers and white trousers to receive the loudest cheers among all
contigents. Tingongleima Chanu, goalkeeper of the Bangkok Asian Games
silver medal winning women's hockey team, was the flag bearer for the
NG Dingko Singh, the Bangkok boxing hero from Manipur who claimed
India's first Asian Games gold in 16 years, was accorded the honour
carrying the Services flag The Navy chief petty officer is
participating for his employers. The march-past lasted over half an hour
before ‘Sangai', the brow antlered deer which is the Games' mascot, came
prancing into the stadium and hundreds of athletes surged forward
take photographs. Sangai, a deer species found only in Manipur, is an
endangered species and only a few hundred survive now. The mascot, a
saffron-coloured balloon-type costume worn by an artist, surrounded by
dancing young girls dressed as ‘sangais', were welcomed by 100
traditionally dressed Women.
The theme was invoking ‘Sangai' as their son ‘Ningthem'. The President's
speech followed his declaring open the Games to the sounding of conch
shells, release of pigeons and balloons with sounding of guns in
background. The oath-taking ceremony was followed by a cultural
programme, the highlight of which was the earliest form of Manipuri
dance, ‘Lai Haraoba Dance', the merrymaking to please the guardian
diety of a village performed over the ages. It was followed by 12 tribal
dance forms from various districts of Manipur before the ceremony came
to an end with a performance of the ‘Pung Cholom', playing of the
Manipuri drum with acrobatic movements as a manifestation of beauty and
mastery of agility and athleticism among men.
There were some reservationas earlier about the games taking off on time
with the region in the grip of militant activity but these
were put to
rest with the factions pledging not to disrupt the games. The Games will
witness a keen contest in a variety of disciplines and culminate
C. THE GAMES:
"Whether the Manipur girls represent their own state or other states,
makes no difference. They do extremely well in this sport
(a). THE HINDU
By M.C. Raman
The women lifters are showing much more enterprise than their male
counterparts in the National Games weightlifting competition here. There
are more records in the women's category than the men's and today Romi
Devi of Delhi set a new National snatch and jerk records in the 75 kg
category and equalled the total mark of 210 kg at the Manipur University
Whether the Manipur girls represent their own state or other states,
makes no difference. They do extremely well in this sport. Today Romi
Devi might not have excelled the way Neelam Shetty Lakshmi of Andhra did
on Saturday. But she did make attempts to set new records and succeeded
in snatch and jerk. In her second attempt she opted for 93 instead of
92.5 kg, the standardised record in snatch, and cleared it. But failed
to lift 95. And again in jerk, she crossed 115 in her second lift and
then she tried 118, instead of 117.5 kg, which was the standardised mark
and succeeded in the third attempt, cheered by a packed stadium. In the
process, Romi also equalled the National mark with a total of 210 kg.
(b). THE HIGHLIGHTS:
New Games Record in Women's 10 Km WalkMiss Y. Bala Devi of Manipur added
another gold to her state's tally and wrote the record book by clocking
a time of 51 minutes 56 sec in 10 Km Walk for women.Nisha Millet set to
be crowned the golden girl of Khuman Lampak Swimming pool.
Gojen of Manipur and Sunita Rani of Punjab declared Best Athletes.
Gojen of Manipur, who earnred two golds in 5,000 m and 10,000 m
been declared Best Man Athlete of the Games while Sunita Rani of
Punjab, has been declared Best Women Athlete for her efforts at 10,000
m, 1,500 m and 5,000 m.
Sprint King and Queen crown for Anil Kumar and Jayalakhsmi Anil Kumar
of Services took gold by clocking 10.58 sec against the wind of 0.5
and Jayalakshmi V. of Tamil Nadu clocked 11.98 sec with an
aid of 0.7
m/s wind speed in 100 m men and women finals at the Games.
(c). Centre fire shooting - Jaspal Rana (Delhi) made the National Games
record of 591.0.
D. A CREDITABLE SHOW
17 February 1999
MANIPUR, one of the neglected North Eastern states, would have welcomed
the responsibility of hosting the fifth National Games with open arms.
It presented the State an opportunity to catch the eyes of the nation
after being left to fight all its battles alone, with help coming only
occasionally from other quarters. And, in their bid to do so, they have
gone out of their way to ensure that the games are gone through
Given the constant threat from the insurgents, the poor economy and a
first attempt at organising an event of this size, the state has thus
far done a creditable job. As far as the infrastructure for the events
and the games village go, the state has received kudos from athletes and
officials alike. But a few slips still remain, media requirements being
one of them, which can be attributed to inexperience.
For a state which had not been allotted even a senior national, which
would certainly have given a first-hand experience of catering to the
needs of the players and the media, Manipur has thus far put up a brave
But now that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has given the state
recoginition, it should continue to do so in the future. If neglected as
before, the efforts put in now as far as infrastructure is concerened
would go to waste.
The main Khuman Lampak sports complex, which houses the athletics track,
the hockey stadium, boxing arena, a wrestling hall, a swimming pool and
the velodrome, provides venues for so many different games. With such
impressive venues on hand, it would be a shame if these are allowed to
Thus, the various sports associations and the IOA should chalk out
programmes to enable maximum exploitation of the
resources on hand. And, if capitalised upon profitably, Manipur can
become a force to reckon with in Indian sports in the future.
E. DECCAN HERALD
Colourful End to Games
Vijay Michael Raj
IMPHAL, Feb 25
The last dance of Sangai, the lovable mascot of the fifth National Games
amidst the fading evening light brought the curtains down on the ten-day
sporting event at the Khuman Lampak main stadium here today.
Even as he made his way out of the stadium followed by a group of
dancers dressed like him, the chorus sang 'Kainarasi`
which meant farewell, in a poignant goodbye to the ten thousand and odd
participants who had gathered in the capital of the North Eastern state
to stake their claim in the nation`s topmost sporting event.
They will however gather again in the land of the five rivers, Punjab,
in the year 2000 to once more prove their might in another edition.
This time around though, the might of the hosts was stamped on the Games
as Manipur lifted the Raja Balendra Singh Cup awarded to the overall
champions. Kerala, who led the medals tally, came in second. However,
Kerala had the satisfaction of having one of their athletes, swimmer
Sebastian Xavier, declared as the Best Sportsman of the meet. Sharing
the award from among the women was Karnataka`s Nisha Millet for her
14-gold effort in the swimming competitions.
Even as the athletes basked in the glory of their achievements, a proud
Governor of Manipur, O N Srivastava, who was also the chief guest on the
occassion, beamed amidst the heaps of accolades showered on the State
for the impressive manner in which it conducted the country`s mega
Suresh Kalmadi, President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as
well as the respresentative of the Prime Minister,
Union Minister for External Affairs Jaswant Singh waxed eloquent over
Manipur`s showing. And, paying the ultimate tribute to the facilities
available in the State, the IOA President also remarked that Manipur may
be in line for assignments more important than the National Games
itself, in the future.
But the accolades were not the only things that the 25,000-odd crowd who
had gathered for the closing ceremony got to savour. The thrilling
air-landings of the Air Devils from the Indian Air Force, the skillful
formations of the Assam Rifles Band and the dances and drills were also
on offer for the colourfully-decked spectators who dotted the galleries.
Then came the stars of the show, the athletes, smiles and waves coming
from each of them as they did the customary jumbled march past. The joy
and relief after the stiff grind over the past few days would have been
evident even on the faces of the athletes of Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh,
Nagaland, Sikkim and Pondicherry who could not win any medal. Even as
the spectators cheered the athletes on, two IAF dropped flower petals.
But the cheers and exuberance were to turn solemn a few moments later as
the Games flag was lowered and the flame
extinguished. The stadium stood in revered silence as the IOA flag was
handed over to Chief Minister W Nipamacha Singh who in turn handed
over to the IOA President. It was then given to Punjab Sports Minister
Ikram Khan who took it on behalf of the hosts of the next National Games
to be held at Ludhiana.
The silenced stadium was however once again brought alive as the
cultural programmes began. The dancers and school children took
centrestage in the last phase of the evening`s ceremony. As they made
their exit after their delightful showpieces, the night sky came alight.
Fireworks added brightness and colour to the dark Imphal sky. And, on
that sparkling note, the city of Imphal chose to finish the fifth
edition of the National Games.
F. POINTS TALLY AND MEDAL TALLY
[which includes the points of the 4th position]:
The following is the overall points tally at the end of the V National
| Andaman & Nicobar
|Jammu & Kashmir
|Andaman & Nicobar
| Jammu & Kashmir
Note: Two silvers were awarded in one gymnastics
event. The bronze for the same event was not awarded. Two bronzes
were awarded in badminton, boxing, fencing, gymnastics (two
judo and taekwondo. Five States - Arunachal Pradesh,
Pondicherry, Sikkim and Tripura - failed to win any medal
MANIPUR GAMES PROVIDES AN EXHILARATING FARE
THE HINDUSTHAN TIMES, 26 Feb. 1999
Imphal, February 25
Delhi marksman Jaspal Rana and Karnataka woman swimmer Nisha Millet
stole the thunder and hosts Manipur paraded their sporting versatility
with pride as the fifth National Games wound to a close after ten days
of drama, excitement, controversy and great sense of achievement.
Bantamweight N.G.Dingko Singh emerged king of the boxing ring by
obliging thousands of home fans in the most keenly awaited win of the
Games, notwithstanding a no show in the final when opponent Birju
of Bihar cried off, to reiterate his status as the biggest star of
Kerala regained top position at the medals rostrum since they achieved
it in the 1987 Games as hosts after becoming the only state to cross the
half-century mark in gold count, but tiny Manipur improved on their
previous best of 15-10-17 at Karnataka in 1997 by mile and surged
finish a very close second, maintaining the tradition of hosts doing
very well in the Games.
The event, twice put off last year due to non-completion of
infrastructure, was unwieldy at times due to the packing of too many
disciplines and many last-minute schedule changes, also felt the absence
of several top names. But the international class infrastructure
threw up and the mass movement it generated in the highly sports
conscious state shone through as massive gains in a region grappling
with violence and drug problems. Twenty-three year-old Jaspal Rana
improved upon the existing world mark in shooting down the gold in
pet centrefire pistol to corner glory for sheer quality at the range.
Seventeen-year old Bangalore lass Nisha Millet emerged the darling of
the Games as she scooped up an incredible 14 gold medals, 10 of them
individual triumphs, in an unparalleled feat to cast aside her own
effort of nine at home in 1997. Kerala male swimmer Sebastian Xavier
hauled in seven and Minimol Kuttappan underlined the strength of the
south state in water sports by annexing six from canoeing and kayaking.
The 20-year-old woman distance runner Sunita rani made up for several of
her senior counterparts skipping the track and field competition as the
Bangkok Asian Games 5000m silver medallist completed a grand golden
treble from athletics. Her effort played no small role in Punjab
claiming the third spot overall in the medal count ahead of Delhi
while Services, with an all male contingent barring shooting, came up
with a superb performance to emerge overall fifth. Diluted competiton in
athletics, which had to be content with 11 meet records and no national
mark, and swimming where the cold water was blamed for not a single
games mark being improved upon rendered the games low-key at times.
Indian Olympic Association had to share much blame for many glitches
that surfaced and forced many last minute schedule changes.
Violence and unsavoury incidents at the games village and in the
taekwondo hall besides many disputes and protests took some sheen off
the endeavour. The competition offered much drama as former world
champion and local heroine N.Kunjarani Devi was upstaged by Manipur
teammate Sanamacha Chanu for the women's 48kg lifting gold and Rana
pushed to silver in air pistol and rapidfire.
Kerala almost doubled their tally from their previous best of 29-21-19
achieved in 1987 as they snapped up 16 out of 21 titles in canoeing and
kayaking and eight more in rowing. But Manipur athletes stood out for
the sheer number of events they won. Cyclists C.H.Jefferson Singh and
his woman teammate C.H.Rameshwari Devi claimed a triple, distance runner
Gojen Singh won 5000-10000 double, gymnast T.Bhagat won two.
National champions Manipur took the women's football title without ado
while their endurance showed in the altitude as they dominated
triathlon and distance events in athletics, besides showing
quick-silver reflexes in the taekwondo hall. Bantamweight Dingko Singh,
in his first competition after claiming India's first boxing gold
the December Bangkok Asian Games, won as he pleased to highlight six of
the 12 gold medals won by Services at the boxing ring. Young women
archers Chekrovolu Swuro and Dola Banerjee led Bihar's crushing
supremacy in the event while equestrian was Punjab's preserve as they
won all the six gold medals.
Punjab also annexed the men's hockey and volleyball titles while
Maharashtra showed their class in team events, winning the men's
football and women's hockey. Andhra Pradesh came on top winning five of
the six events at the badminton hall while Tamil Nadu paddlers claimed
four out of seven table tennis titles decided. Karnataka claimed a
double in kho-kho while their men alongwith Maharashtra women accounted
for the kabaddi titles in two low-profile events. Uttar Pradesh
Vikas Pandey was the prince of the gymnastics hall, winning the overall
title and adding two more in the apparatus events while Haryana's Poonam
Chabra with the overall win and West Bengal's Tumpa Debnath with twin
triumphs in apparatus section shared glory among women. There were
needless controversies. Violent fans went on the rampage after a
Karnataka girl continued hitting her Manipur rival who had sought time
out for injury leading to a police lathicharge.
Police fired a few shots in the air after violence rocked the village.
Volunteers were angered by an alleged act of misbehaviour by a Services
athlete on a Manipur girl, though Services officials strongly refuted
A SPORTING SPECTACLE COMES TO POIGNANT END
THE HINDU, 26-02-1999
By S. Sabanayakan
The largest, biggest and the most difficult Fifth National Games, came
to a poignant end at the Khuman Lampak
Sports Complex's main stadium here on Thursday, leaving a tinge of
sadness all around.
As many as 6,233 participants, 1,033 more than the last edition at
Bangalore, who rubbed shoulders in a record 27 disciplines, including
three new additions this time, sepak takraw, women's football and
wrestling, gathered at the remotest part of the country. Days of
travelling to come and go made this the most difficult of all the Games.
And at the end of 12 days of high voltage action in which one world
record was bettered, 50 National and 79 Games records were set, it
time for the 25 lakhs population of this tiny North Eastern State
look back with great satisfaction. And to top it all, Manipur won
overall championship and the accompanying, glittering Raja Bhalendra
Singh Trophy with 486 points, five points mroe than Kerala, after
of drama at the handball arena last evening and this morning.
The theme of the games, unity, peace, cooperation and goodwill,'' should
have been achieved in a State, torn by insurgency and insecurity. It was
a wonderful fortnight for the locals. The Games not only enabled
to project their State as one of the front-ranking sporting community in
the country but also helped display the hidden talent among the youth
of the State. It would have been the most proudest moment for the
entire State when Mr. Jaswant Singh, Minister for External Affairs
the representative of the Indian Prime Minister, handed over the
trophies to Mr. M. Kumar Singh, the president of the Manipur Olympic
Association and the States Minister of Higher Education.
Mr. Singh complimented the Manipur contingent on winning the laurels and
asked the younger generation to make full use of the marvelous
infrastructure to the optimum. he Chief Minister of Manipur,
Nipamacha Singh, termed the success of the State in these Games as
of the finest and the year as a `historic' one.
Golden mermaid Nisha Millet of Karnataka was adjudged the best
sportswoman of the Games after her exploits at the swimming pool where
she secured 14 gold medals and one silver medal, highest by
sportsperson in this Games.
Sebastian Xavier of Keala was declared the best sportsman of the Games.
He won seven golds and one silver medal, also at the swimming pool.
Ludhiana to host next Games After the Indian Olympic Association
president, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, declared the Games closed and the IOA
flag was handed over to Punjab whose Sports Minister, Mr. Nusrat Ali
Khan, recieved it. Ludhiana will be the venue for the next National
Games in the year 2000. And the sacred flame was extinguished marking
the end of the Games.
The afternoon ceremony began with the enchanting music by the Assam
Rifles' band, a breathtaking sky diving display by the Air
the Indian Air Force and an impressive martial art show. The
commencement of the jumbled march past led by 55 decorative flag bearers
from the Manipur Police in tricolours in a six-lane pattern was followed
by flag bearers of participating States and placard bearers of all
States. Then came the stars of the mega show to the background music by
the Police band. The host contingent trooped at the end. Dancing
cheering after stellar performances, the
home contingent was a fountain of joy. It was a sight that would be
etched in memory for long.
After the competitors left the field, in came the mascot, Sangai, for
the last time in the Games. Swaying from side to side the brown
antlered deer, one of the endangered species of the State, bade fare
well to a moving song.
The cultural troops took the centrestage with an eye catching display
and finally fire works lit up the night sky to bring about a grand
finale. In the end, there was a sense of fulfilment at the conclusion
of one of the sporting spectacles. And it was time to separate, time to
depart after 12 days of glorious achievement on the sporting arena
front of a simple, fun loving and wonderful people of Manipur.
(a) Athletes Taken Ill in Manipur:
STAR NEWS HEADLINES
19 Feb 1999
About 7000 athletes participating in the National Games in Imphal
taken ill due to bad sanitary conditions, fatigue of long journey and
change in food. Many of them are suffering from dysentery and
case of chicken-pox and viral fever. The authorities are presently
looking into the matter.
(b). Gastro Cases Plague Village:
THE TIMES OF INDIA
Saturday 20 February 1999
IMPHAL: Poor hygienic conditions continued to plague the Games village,
amidst media reports of an outbreak of gastro-intestinal ailments among
participants at the fifth National Games here. While a list displayed at
the main medical centre of the village said that till date 235 cases
gastro-enteritis had been reported, the authorities seemed to have
finally woken up to the problem to avoid bad publicity.
A doctor at the centre, who refused to be named, described the media
reports of a large number of cases as `exaggerated', and claimed
the situation was `fully under control'. But the affliction seemed
have already affected the performance of a number of participants.
While a woman marathon runner, fatigued after an enteric problem,
collapsed midway into her event, a Bihar shooter Vaidyanath Singh had to
be rushed to the centre this morming with diarrhoea and vomitting
problems. ``I don't know whether I will be able to participate in
event tomorrow,'' Singh said. Singh was being administered
technical officer of boxing, V S Mani, complained that problems of
overflowing toilets were yet to be addressed. Maharashtra contingent
secretary Mukund Dhus said, ``we are counting days. We desperately
to go home.''
Asked whether the condition of the village had affected the performance
of the Maharashtra players, Dhus said, ``why only Maharashtra it has had
a telling effect on the performance of all participants.''
He said while rooms were never cleaned, hot water was unavailable, which
was creating problems for athletes. ``However, I must admit they (the
organisers) are trying to improve things,'' Dhus said.
Shortage of drinking water was continuing despite repeated complaints
forcing the participants to shell out upto Rs 25 for a mineral water
bottle. ``A water filter, installed by the organisers only three days
back outside my room has never functioned,'' the Maharashtra official
A correspondent who visited the village found some women participants
carrying buckets of water to their rooms from outside for bathing.
Meanwhile, stung by media reports on enteric diseases, the Manipur
government tightened emergency facilities in hospitals to cater to
needs of the participants, an official release said.
State health minister Morung Makunga, in a statement, also appealed
visitors not to take eatables and drinks from roadside vends.
Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau and Indian Olympic Association officials
were also seen at the Games village medical centre this morning making
enquiries about enteric problems.
"The Indian Olympic Association President, Suresh Kalmadi,
so impressed by the participation of the Manipur Government and the
local people in putting together the Games in Imphal that he will now
look a firm commitment from the governments of States aspiring to
the Games in the future."
The end of the 5th National Games in Imphal has brought forward many
questions and attentions to the North Eastern region. How could this
tiny state with so few people can host such a prestigious mega event and
come out with flying colors winning the Championship Trophy and become
1st in the Medal Tally although Kerala stood first in the Gold Medal.
The answer is simple - the sporting spirit of men and women of this
state. If India learns the Sports Culture and Spirit from Manipur, they
do not have to look far to the day when Indian wins many Medals in
International Events including World Olympics.
Many newspaper and officials from certain states have complained about
the long train and bus ride to reach Imphal and the exhaustion and poor
performance of their athletes due to the higher elevation of Imphal from
the sea level, the change in climate and food habit. [It may not be
wrong to mention that many Indians do not know how to use properly the
newly installed toilets and water purifiers in the games village]. Well
if it were so, Kerala comes from the farthest and they should not have
won any medal. Again, to remind our Indian news media and officials, if
it is so far and difficult for the Indian athletes to come to Imphal -
it is equally far and difficult for Manipur and NE players to go to
other cities of India. They find changes in climate, food habit and,
above all, the attitude of the general Indian population towards the NE
In order to satisfy the different food habits of Indians, Reputed
Caterers from outside Manipur were engaged to provide the North/South
Indian and Continental food.
Now that the Imphal games are over and the next 6th National Games is
allocated to Punjab. With the Infrastructure and enthusiasm, Manipur
should work hard after a brief celebration and taking rest to prove that
the Medals won by the Manipur Players in Imphal were not fluke but real
by travelling far and long in another Indian city. But for today
whatever others say:
WE KNOW MANIPUR IS A SPORTING STATE AND IT WAS A
WIN BY HARD WORK AND SINCERE EFFORT OF THE ATHLETIC MEN AND WOMEN OF
THIS TOO FAR AND NEGLECTED STATE IN NORTH EAST INDIA. WE ARE SO PROUD OF
ALL THE MANIPUR ATHLETES AND THOSE FROM OTHER STATES WHO CAME TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE GAMES, AND ALSO THE TIRELESS AND HONEST VOLUNTEERS
AND THE AUTHORITIES WHO PUT THIS MEGA SPORTING EVENT TOGETHER AT IMPHAL
FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY TO WATCH AND ENJOY THE SPLENDOUR OF MANIPUR. - NOW
LET US CONCENTRATE ON THE FUTURE PROGRESS AND HARMONY OF THIS BEAUTIFUL
LAND OF MULTI-CULTURE AND ETHNIC PEOPLE BY COMING FORWARD TOGETHER.
THE PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED TOO MUCH AND TOO LONG.