Swimmers Sajan Prakash of Kerala and Karnataka's Hashika Ramchandra walked away with the individual top honours as while Services reasserted their supremacy as a team with the National Games 2022 concluding on Wednesday. (More Sports News)
Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar gave away the coveted Raja Bhalindra Singh Trophy to the Services contingent for the fourth consecutive time. They cornered 61 gold, 35 silver and 32 bronze to tower over all the competing teams.
The 29-year-old Prakash won eight medals, with five individual gold, two silver and a bronze, to be named the 'Best Male Athlete'. Hashika Ramachandra was awarded the 'Best Female Athlete'. The 14-year-old won six gold medals in her collection of seven on National Games debut.
The Government of Gujarat had stepped in at the last minute to revive the country's largest and most significant sports festival after a seven-year hiatus, successfully putting it all together in less than 100 days.
Maharashtra bagged the Indian Olympic Association's 'Best State' trophy for finishing second in the medals tally with the most medals amongst States and UTs.
Gujarat's 10-year-old Shauryajit Khaire (Mallakhamb), who was a reluctant starter after losing his father just a few days back, emerged as the 'viral star' of the Games, becoming its youngest medal winner.
As many as 38 National Games records crumbled in track and field events and 36 in Aquatics. Tamil Nadu's Rosy Meena Paulraj (women’s pole vault) and N Ajith (weightlifting men’s 73kg clean & jerk) and UP’s Ram Baboo (men's 35km race walk) were among the few to shatter National Records too.
Sporting powerhouses Maharashtra and Haryana engaged in a bitter tussle till the very end before the former emerged as the worthy No. 2 with 39 gold, 38 silver and 63 bronze. Haryana (38 gold, 38 silver, 39 bronze) had to be satisfied with the third position on the table.
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala took the fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively on the medal table. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur finished with a creditable 20 gold each. The National Games flag was handed over to a delegation led by Sports Minister Govind Gaude from Goa, hosts of the 2023 edition.