There is much to look forward to at the 36th National Games, currently in progress in Gujarat. The event will see athletes competing in 36 disciplines, including non-Olympic sports or indigenous ones like kabaddi, kho-kho, lawn bowls, mallakhamb, wushu and yoga. (More Sports News)
Olympic medalists Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (weightlifting) and Lovlina Borgohain (boxing) will also be in action.
But it is still early days, and a good time to look at highlights from the event’s history.
Jaspal Rana’s World Record
One of Jaspal Rana’s major career achievements was equalling the then-world record score of 590 points in the Centre Fire Pistol event at the 1997 National Games, jointly hosted by Bengaluru and Mysore. He had registered the same score two years earlier at the National Shooting Championship in Coimbatore. Although the statistics of Rana’s medal count in the 1997 National Games are not easily available, the 1994 Arjuna Awardee remains one of the key figures in Indian shooting history.
The Rehan Poncha Show
Nine of Karnataka’s 21 gold medals came from Rehan Poncha in swimming at the 2007 National Games in Guwahati. Poncha also bagged three silver and three bronze. He set four Games records, in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 50m backstroke. Poncha was named the best male athlete of the Games.
Richa Mishra Reigns Supreme
Swimming once again made headlines in Kerala at the 2011 National Games, with Richa Mishra taking home a staggering 11 gold medals, four silver and a bronze. Among the 17 swimming events at the event, Mishra won a medal in all but the 50m breaststroke, where she finished fifth. She produced seven Games records during her medal haul.
Services has been the most dominant team at the National Games for the past decade finishing on top of the medals table back-to-back in 2007, 2011 and 2015 editions. Represented by some of the well-known stars of the country, Services finished with 142 medals (59-46-37) in 2007 before increasing their count in the next edition to 162 (70-50-42). In 2015 in Kerala, Services bagged 159 medals that included 91 gold, 33 silver and 35 bronze.