News & Updates


Target shooters back up to scratch after 2 years of Covid pandemic

Shillong, May 7: Target shooters under the Shooting Association of Meghalaya had to weather the Covid-19 pandemic like other athletes but were back up to scratch for the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022, which concluded yesterday. 

The shooting event at the Games also acted as the 7th State Championship. It took place at the Assam Regimental Centre's indoor and outdoor ranges in Happy Valley. 

"This was the first championship after the pandemic and I now believe you are all back up to form," SAM President and Meghalaya State Olympic Association Working President John F Kharshiing said at the closing ceremony. "With support of the Assam Regimental Centre, we hope Meghalaya will perform well at the North East Olympic Games," he added. The NE Games are to take place in Shillong later this year. 

The North East Small Finance Bank sponsored a rifle for SAM, which was handed over at the Meghalaya Games' opening ceremony on Tuesday. Such precision rifles are all imported - this one was manufactured by famed gunmakers Walther - and cost lakhs of rupees. 

"We are grateful to NESFB for sponsoring the rifle," Kharshiing added. "This is an expensive sport and for SAM to have its own rifle will help us spread the sport further. We are also hoping to have our own range one day as we get so many inquiries from parents and schools."

The chief guest on the occasion was Brig DCS Kanyal. He said that there remains a lot of talent to be tapped in Meghalaya and the rest of the North East and wished the shooters, SAM and the MSOA the best for the future. 

"The National Capital Region does so well in shooting because it has the infrastructure but the talent pool is higher here in the North East," Brig Kanyal added. 

Kharshiing also praised SAM General Secretary Neil Sootinck, saying that he has been "a pillar of the association in organising this competition."

In his brief speech, Sootinck said that SAM has a very strong bond with ARC and thanked the state government and MSOA for reviving the Meghalaya Games. 

Shooting results:

10m air rifle senior men - 1 Dennyson Kyrsian, 2 Rajdeep Ghosh, 3 Wanpliborlang Nongsiej

10m air rifle women - 1 Anjali Singh, 2 Veronica Buhroy, 3 S Rebecca

10m air rifle Services men - 1 Sanjit Sarkar, 2 Andrew R Buhril, 3 Jangminlen Touthang

10m air rifle junior men - 1 Abhay Mukharjee, 2 Khraw Jyrwa

10m air pistol men - 1 Pynkhraw Kharshiing, 2 John Thounaojam, 3 Davis NR Marak

10m air pistol Services men - 1 Bishal Debnath, 2 Thangthahring Khumlo, 3 Gingoulen Gangte

10m air pistol women - 1 Balarishisha Rani, 2 Shirley M Kharbuli, 3 Toiaibha Mylliempdah

10m air pistol junior women - 1 Shirley M Kharbuli, 2 Gauri Bharadwaj, 3 Divieja Om Bali

50m prone men - 1 Dennyson Kyrsian, 2 Wanpliborlang Nongsiej, 3 Wallambok Kharkongor

50m prone women - 1 Veronica Buhroy, 2 S Rebecca, 3 Amalisha Sangma

50m free pistol men - 1 Pynkhraw Kharshiing, 2 Walsall M Momin, 3 Mawdaker Marwein

25m centre fire pistol men - 1 Pynkhraw Kharshiing, 2 Davis NR Marak, 3 John TH

25m standard pistol men - 1 Mawdaker Marwein, 2 Pynkhraw Kharshiing, 3 John TH

25m sports pistol women - 1 Balarishisha Rani, 2 Shirley M Kharbuli, 3 Toiaibha Mylliempdah

25m sports pistol junior women - 1 Shirley M Kharbuli, 2 Gauri Bharadwaj, 3 Divieja OM Bali

10m air pistol mixed team - 1 Shirley M Kharbuli and Walsall M Momin, 2 Balarishisha Rani and Maxwell Pyngrope, 3 Toiaibha Mylliempdah and Pynkhraw Kharshiing

10m air rifle mixed team - 1 Anjali Singh and Banrilang Bleine, 2 Rajdeep Ghosh and Toyarisa S Nongrum, 3 Wanpliborlang Nongsiej and S Rebecca

25m standard pistol SAM office bearers match - 1 Jefry Sooting, 2 Neil Sootinck, 3 Lanu Jamir


4th Meghalaya Games comes to a close, athletes look forward to next year

Shillong, May 6: The 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 concluded here today with a closing ceremony bringing to an official end five days of action spread across 19 disciplines, 13 venues and involving 3,000 participants. 

The Games were closed by Chief Secretary Smti Rebecca V Suchiang in the presence of the Director of Sports and Youth Affairs Smti WAM Booth, Meghalaya State Olympic Association Working President Shri John F Kharshiing, General Secretary Shri Finely Pariat, other MSOA senior members and representatives of sports associations and the stars of the event - the athletes. 

The mega event had its opening ceremony at Polo Ground on Tuesday, though for logistical reasons some events began on Monday. Events were dotted in around the city, with Laban Indoor Stadium, Shillong Club, Madanrting Indoor Hall, Assam Regimental Centre, NEHU, Mawlai Mawroh Community Hall, Mawlai Madan Heh, Crinoline Swimming Pool, Malki Forest, Shillong Golf Course, NEIGRIHMS and the Sports Authority of India Centre all playing host to one or more disciplines. 

Some 700-plus medals were distributed to those participating in the various individual and team events. 

The closing ceremony was held at the SAI Indoor Training Hall, which has acted as the hub of this edition of the Games. 

The Chief Secretary said that she "loved the enthusiasm" of the young athletes present at the indoor hall. 

"Each and every participant is a champion," Smti Suchiang said. "You are the vision of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and he wants to nurture sportspersons and how this starts is in our own homes. It is time we as parents encourage our children in sports. In India half of all elementary schools don’t have playgrounds. That’s why the Chief Minister is ensuring infrastructure is coming up across the state and you will all have facilities at your doorstep."

She concluded by congratulating the MSOA, Chief Minister, Sports & Youth Affairs Minister and the Directorate, volunteers and athletes for making this grand event possible.

Smti Suchiang also handed over the prizes for the overall winners in the athletics events - these went to Shillong Sports Association (for East Khasi Hills) in the male category and Nongstoin District Sports Association (for West Khasi Hills) in the women's. West Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi were the runners-up in men's and women's respectively. 

Earlier, Kharshiing reminded the audience that this is the biggest and most ambitious edition of the Meghalaya Games, which started with just nine disciplines in 2001 and 12 in 2004 and then was not held for 16 years - until 2020 - when the state government decided to revive the statewide event. The Games grew to 14 disciplines in 2020 and now 19, with many more sports associations wanting to be included next year, such as has been the success of the competition. 

The Working President also spoke positively about Meghalaya's Sports Policy and the National Education Policy and their potential for the growth of sports and athletes in the state. 

A gymnastic demonstration followed. Gymnastics was one of the new sports introduced to this edition of the Meghalaya Games. The seven girls wowed the assembly of other athletes, dignitaries, media and invited guests with their floor exercise routines. 

A letter of praise from the Indian Olympic Association President, Shri Narinder D Batra, was read out at the close, in which he praised the efforts of the MSOA, thanked the state government for pledging to support the event every year and said that this will help Meghalaya prepare to host the 39th National Games. 

At the opening ceremony Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, the Chief Patron of the Games, announced that next year's edition will take place in Tura, with the 2024 event to be held in Jowai, which will be a further boost the promotion of sport, help the athletes improve and grow and further foster cross-cultural understanding. 


WKH win women's football final, EKH claim men's title

Shillong, May 6: West Khasi Hills won the women's football final, while East Khasi Hills overcame a shock goal going against them to win the men's final on the last day of the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 here today. 

East Khasi Hills went behind against Ri-Bhoi early in the men's football final at the SAI Centre but then had it all their own way as they won the gold medal match 5-1, with Aenam Jyrwa and Badonlang Rapsang scoring a brace of goals each. 

West Khasi Hills, meanwhile, also won handsomely in the women's final, beating EKH 3-0 at Mawlai Madan Heh. Here Rivilda Rynjah scored twice. The bronze medals were won by East Jaintia Hills (who beat West Garo Hills 4-0) in the women's category and West Jaintia Hills (who won a 10-goal thriller 7-3 over neighbours East Jaintia Hills).

Mawphlang MLA and former India international Eugeneson Lyngdoh was the chief guest on the occasion of the men's final. 

The two-day golf event concluded at Shillong Golf Course today. Making its debut at the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022, a good number of competitors took part. 

In the ladies' category, Jyoti Agarwal claimed gold, Gunjan Singhania silver and Ooma Tiwari Tariang bronze. Anil Pargal won the super seniors event, with Col Jagdish Singh second and Dilip K Borah third. In the seniors, Benu Malakar claimed gold, Hector Marwein silver and Billykid Sangma bronze. 

The mid amateur category was won by Dr KI Singh, who also had the lowest score overall, with Gaurav Bajaj in second and S Khonglah third. Jonathan Iawphniaw took gold in the amateur category, Jason Passah silver and Shaurya Goenka bronze. 

Badminton, which was going on at the NEHU Indoor Hall, concluded with a high-intensity men's doubles match, which was won by the West Jaintia Hills pair of Mebanker Shullai and Gregor Passah, who defeated Rituraj Nag and Kiefer Shullai in an entertaining finale in the presence of Commissioner & Secretary Syed Md A Razi. 

The men's singles was won by Nag, while Andrew Lotzem and Elsarica Umdor won the mixed doubles. The sister pair of Shagun Singh and Shristi Singh won the women's and girls' doubles. Shristi also won the women's singles and girls' singles. The boys' singles, meanwhile, was bagged by Cyrun Marak and the doubles by Jay Kshair and Gaurav Singh. 

Boxing, which had to be postponed because of the bad weather yesterday, had its final bouts today morning at Mawlai Mawroh Community Hall. 

There was competitive action of a high calibre, with participants drawn from around the state. 

The winners in the men's division are as follows: Pynshailang Sohshang (46kg), Sanjeev Maskut (48kg), Prashant Dorjee (51kg), Batsilbert T Sangma (54kg), Sunil Limbu (57kg), Badonkupar Synnh (60kg), Baiamutlang Sungoh (63.5kg), Bhalang Shadap (67kg), Bolnas Sangma (71kg).

The winners in the women's division were: Bainlumlin L Nongpiur (46kg), Gracenylla Marbaniang (48kg), Rabiya Khan (50kg), Melina Basaiawmoit (52kg), Tredicia Lamare (54kg). 


Eastern West Khasi Hills shines in Meghalaya Games cycling

Shillong, May 5: Kevin John Khyllait of Longki Ingding village in Eastern West Khasi Hills won the maiden elite MTB (mountain bike) cross country competition organised by the Meghalaya Cycling Association as part of the 4th Meghalaya Games here, completing 3 laps in 1 hour and 11 minutes, officials said.

The two-day cycling event was held at Malki Forest and finished today.

Maitshaphrang Kharwanlang and Gilbert Wahlang, both of South West Khasi Hills bagged second and third places respectively.

Reuben Nicol Kharchandy and Anissa Lamare took gold in the downhill category for elite men and women respectively, while Nicholas Syrti of East Jaintia Hills won gold in the downhill hardtail (meaning no rear suspension) while Taitus Ch Marak of North Garo Hills and Aaron Oniel Kharpuri (EKH) bagging the silver and bronze respectively.

Kharchandy, a student of St Edmunds School here, is currently appearing for his Class 10 examinations and has been riding DH and Enduro bike for three years now, he said.

In the junior category, Pynshailang Khyllait (EWKH) won gold (pictured crossing the finish line) while Thrangskhem Pariong (WKH) and Kyrmenskhem Nongram (EWKH) won silver and bronze respectively.

In the cross country race for females, Balasiewdor Wahlang (SWKH), Lamtimai Khyllait (EWKH) and Aidotis Khyllait (EWKH) won gold, silver and bronze respectively.

Over a 100 cyclists took part at the various competition during the past two days.


4th Meghalaya Games 2022: Penultimate day sees a flurry of action

Shillong, May 5: Gripping action was the norm on the penultimate day of the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 today. 

On the final day of the archery events, the Games were blessed to have India's chief coach Mim Bahadur Gurung and star national archer Atanu Das present on the occasion. Das is a multiple World Cup, Asian Championships and World Championships archer.

In the Indian Round results, Navydisha Kokil Kapoor of Ri-Bhoi came first in the 50m event, while the 30m category was bagged by Ibanisha Ryntathiang of Pyndengumiong. Ryntathiang also claimed gold in the women's individual event. The women's team final went to a tiebreaker but East Khasi Hills edged Pyndengumiong in the shootout. 

In the men's Indian Round, Kirdhart Gurung swept all three of the finals, in the 50m, 30m and men's individual. He was also part of the East Khasi Hills team that won the team final against South West Khasi Hills. 

Shooting continued at the Assam Regimental Centre in Happy Valley. Indoor events saw the use of air pistols and air rifles but for the small calibre rounds, the action was outdoors. 

The shooters were a picture of concentration - they had to be in order to hit the target placed 25 metres (for the sports pistol) and 50m (for the sports rifle) away. A steady hand, controlled breathing, the right stance and mental strength, all were vital for the shooters. 

The ARC range is set amid hills and forests. The atmosphere is serene and as the shooters steady themselves barely a whisper can be heard from among those present. And suddenly, there is a crack - the fierce retort of a bullet fired from the gun. 

Besides all the mental challenges described above, sometimes there are added ones for the shooters, such as when the gun jams. Deputy Inspector General Davis NR Marak faced this issue but did not let it put him off. After sorting out his equipment, his subsequent shots were almost perfectly placed, which netted him a round of applause from his fellow competitors. 

Cycling concluded today at Malki Forest, with special guest Ampareen Lyngdoh MLA flagging off the cross country race. The Meghalaya Cycling Association also 'plogged' after the conclusion of the events to make sure that the forest was left in as clean a condition as it was before the start. 

In basketball, East Khasi Hills swept both the women's and men's finals at the NEIGRIHMS Indoor Stadium. West Khasi Hills, the defending champions, lost the women's title match 46-31, while EKH also won the men's contest 68-55 over Ri-Bhoi.

Ri-Bhoi women claimed the bronze with a 36-24 win over West Jaintia Hills, while WKH men took the third place in the men's division with a 57-42 victory against WJH.

Table tennis concluded at the SAI Indoor Hall today, with the gold medals being won by Tanushree Das Gupta in women's singles and Suranjit Dey in men's singles. Dey combined with T Yogesh Singh to win the men's doubles, while Camelia Diengdoh and Anwesha Choudhury won the women's doubles. 

This year also featured U-17 boys' doubles and boys' singles, with the pair of Jeff AK Marak and Ario S Marak winning the former, while Jeff also won the singles final. Finally, the mixed doubles title was bagged by Dey and Choudhury.

Tennis at Shillong Club was greatly affected by the weather, first yesterday, with the semifinals pushed into the evening and then again today. Sanjeev Chettri put in a convincing performance to take gold in the men's singles 6-0, 6-0 over Joplut Kharbuli, while Ishaan Rawat won 6-4, 6-2 in the boys' singles final against Enrick Suchiang.

Suchiang and team mate Rakshit Bajaj were also involved in an epic boys' doubles final against Rawat and Harsh Singhania, that ended 6-7 (4), 7-6 (8), 11-9 in the former's favour.

Tennis this year also had a women's singles exhibition match between Samaira Kharbuli and Sasha Kharbuli, with the former winning 6-2 in a single set contest.

Women's football semifinals saw West Khasi Hills edge West Garo Hills 2-1, while East Khasi Hills beat EJH by the same margin. In the men's semis, Ri-Bhoi edged West Jaintia Hills 5-4 on penalties after full time finished 1-1, while EKH came through 2-1 against East Jaintia Hills. The women's final will be held tomorrow at Mawlai Madan Heh, while the men's will be at SAI.

Tomorrow will see the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 reach its conclusion. Shooting will end by 10:30am at Happy Valley, the billiards final will take place at 1pm at Shillong Club, while that of snooker will follow at 3:30pm. Karate, archery and athletics, at SAI Centre, will bring the Games, with its total of 19 disciplines, to a grand end.


4th Meghalaya Games 2022: Renowned archer Atanu Das appreciates M'laya prospects

Shillong, May 5: The archers taking part on the penultimate day of the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 had two extra pairs of eyes focused on their performances in the form of India coach Mim Bahadur Gurung and star national archer Atanu Das. 

Das, who is a multiple World Cup, Asian Championships and World Championships archer, and his coach are in Shillong for the former's preparations for upcoming tournaments. 

They graciously consented to give away many of the medals of the Indian Round of archery events at the SAI Centre on the NEHU campus in the presence of Meghalaya State Olympic Association Working President John F Kharshiing and Vice-President Bor Diengdoh. 

Speaking later, President of the Archery Association of Meghalaya Matsiewdor War Nongbri said that their presence "will have given much motivation to our young archers". 

Although rain was a significant factor at today's events, Das said that that should not be a problem for any archer. 

"I'm very happy to be here. The view and the weather are wonderful. There are so many young talents coming up, I can see here, and they just need a few facilities from the government side and they will come up even further," the 30-year-old double gold World Cup winner said. 

Gurung, meanwhile, said that he enjoyed watching the archery today and added that Shillong is a place suited to the support. 

On the reason for the pair being in Shillong, Das said, "As there is little pollution I can get peace of mind and upgrade it for future tournaments. I'm going to use this time fully."

Going further, Gurung said that, in preparation for next year's World Championships in Berlin, Das will be training here for up to two months as the higher altitude and weather conditions will help him better prepare himself. 


Cycling makes its debut, Swimming makes a splash

Shillong, May 4: Cycling made its debut at the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 in the picturesque setting of Malki Forest today.

A pleasant trek to the venue surrounds you with birdcall as the sunlight filters through the trees. The paths were steep and slightly slippery with the rain of recent days. This all made it extremely challenging but the course has been crafted to keep things interesting and test the riders, who had to push themselves and their machines to the limit.

The Meghalaya Cycling Association has been one of the most active of new sports bodies in the state and has taken up the responsibility of popularising the sport and advocating for the interests of cyclists in general.

Events today were for junior boys and women’s cross country along with downhill hardtail, which means bicycles without rear suspension. More exciting cycling action will be witnessed tomorrow. 

Below Malki Forest could be found the swimming events at Crinoline Swimming Pool. The morning was blessed with wonderful warm sunshine and three finals were concluded today, with Alyzza M Lyngdoh of East Khasi Hills storming to victory in the women's 100m freestyle in a time of 1 minute, 29.35 seconds, nearly half a minute ahead of the silver medallist. Khrawkupar Lyngdoh of South West Khasi Hills took first place in the men's 200m breaststroke (3:20.87) and he won the men's 200m freestyle final as well (2:48.41). 

Athletics began today and several results in javelin were declared, with Bonabenshor Syiemlieh taking gold for West Khasi Hills in the U-16 boys' event with a throw of 40.32 metres. East Garo Hills claimed both silver and bronze, through Nokkim Momin and Salchira R Sangma respectively. 

It was a Garo Hills lockout in the U-18 girls' javelin, with North Garo Hills taking gold and silver through Senitha G Momin (24.57m) and Silanchi M Sangma respectively, while Walrimchi R Marak bagged bronze for South Garo Hills. 

In the women's 10,000m, Kyntimon Marwein of South West Khasi Hills took gold with a time of 41 minutes, 59.64 seconds. She beat out Darishisha Iangjuh (East Khasi Hills) and Bandasharai Marwein (SWKH). 

The corresponding men's event was won by Hepstarli Lyngkhoi (SWKH) in 33:06.62, ahead of Kresstarjune Pathaw (WKH) and Belin Dkhar (West Jaintia Hills). 

Weightlifting, which was making its debut at the Games, seven gold medals were handed out - Ibanrihun Maring (55kg women), Ibalaiohkhamtilut Nawsaw (64kg women), Banteilang Marwein (55kg men), Maxcarelius Ryndongsngi (61kg men), Anas Ryndongsngi (67kg men), Edilbert Ryndongsngi (90kg men) and Donald Rymbai (110kg men).

In tennis, rain meant some unavoidable disruption on the clay court surface at Shillong Club, though play was able to resume in the evening under lights. 

The singles - for U-16 boys and senior men - are playing according to a first-to-9-games format, while men's doubles is played according to standard best of three sets. 

In the U-16 boys' quarterfinals, Harsh Singhania beat Amit Ram in a tiebreaker 9-8, while Enrick Suchiang defeat Ryan Kharkongor 9-0. Ishan Rawat and Rakshit Bajaj won via walkovers. In the men's singles, Sanjeev Chettri beat Enrick Suchiang 9-2, Macdonald Thabah won 9-4 against Feniedee Rymmai, Keane Marbaniang won 9-5 against Keane Marbaniang and Joplut Kharbuli won 9-6 over Wankhraw W Nongrum. 

In basketball, West Khasi Hills will meet East Khasi Hills in the women's final at 3pm tomorrow at the NEIGRIHMS Indoor Stadium, while Ri-Bhoi will take on EKH in the men's title match at 4:30pm. 

Ri-Bhoi knocked out 2020 champions West Khasi Hills in the first men's semifinal 53-33. EKH men then defeated West Jaintia Hills 71-45, while, earlier, the EKH women were 70-12 victors over WJH women. The other women's semifinal saw defending champions WKH defeat Ri-Bhoi by 63 points to 22. 

Finally, in football, EKH blazed past South West Garo Hills 8-0 in their women's quarterfinal at Mawlai Madan Heh. WKH defeated Ri-Bhoi 2-0 and West Garo Hills pipped Eastern West Khasi Hills 1-0. 

In the men's competition, at SAI, Ri-Bhoi registered a 5-1 win over SWKH, while WJH defeated East Garo Hills 3-0. East Jaintia Hills then required a penalty shootout (5-4) to beat North Garo Hills after full time ended 1-1. 

Other events that began today were karate and table tennis at the SAI Indoor Training Centre. It was also announced that multiple World Cup, Asian Championships and World Championships archer, Atanu Das, will be present for the final day of the archery events at SAI tomorrow. 


Football kicks off, basketball semis lineup finalised

Shillong, May 3: The semifinal line-up in basketball at the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 was completed, with the last-four matches scheduled to be held tomorrow at NEIGRIHMS Indoor Stadium. 

Several disciplines got going today, chief among them being football, boxing, taekwondo, weightlifting, badminton, tennis, shooting and archery. 

West Khasi Hills, who are defending champions in both the men's and women's events, made it through to the basketball semifinals. The women's team will face Ri-Bhoi at 12:15pm and the men will also be up against the same opponents at 2:45pm. West Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills will also meet in the semis of both the women's and men's competition, with the women's match taking place at 1:30pm and the men's at 4pm. 

In football, which is being played both at Mawlai Madan Heh and SAI Centre, West Khasi Hills defeated South West Khasi Hills and Eastern West Khasi Hills beat West Jaintia Hills in their respective pre-quarterfinals of the women's division. Both matches ended 2-0. 

The third fixture at Madan Heh was the first quarterfinal, between East Jaintia Hills and North Garo Hills, which the former won 7-0 thanks to a hat-trick by Rushia Dkhar (33', 50', 58'). 

Notable among the men's results was the 13-1 victory for East Khasi Hills against South Garo Hills in the pre-quarters. The men's event is for U-21, while the women's is for senior players. 

In Madanrting, for wushu, Dorian Dean Nongrum took gold in the sub-junior boys below-42kg category, with Femi Rymbai first among sub-junior boys below-36kg category and Marvisha Sohklet first in the sub-junior girls below-42kg event. Deputy Chief Whip, Shri Pyniaid Sing Syiem was the chief guest at this evening's wushu events. 

Over at the SAI Indoor Training Hall, the gymnastics medals were distributed to the young gymnasts by Meghalaya State Olympic Association Working President John F Kharshiing, Vice-President Matsiewdor War Nongbri and other dignitaries. 

There will be plenty more action tomorrow, with athletics, cycling, karate, swimming and table tennis all beginning. 


Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma officially opens 4th Meghalaya Games 2022

Shillong, May 3: The 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 was officially opened by the Honourable Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad K Sangma, at an exciting yet intimate opening ceremony at the SSA Stadium, First Ground, here today. 

The CM, who is also the chief patron of the Games, congratulated the Meghalaya State Olympic Association, which in collaboration with the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, is hosting the event, which comprises 19 disciplines and some 2,500-plus athletes. 

In a big development, he announced that next year's edition will take place in Tura, with the 2024 event to be held in Jowai. 

"This is one of the events to mark 50 years of statehood and in 50 years this is only the fourth Meghalaya Games and the second in the last four years," the Chief Minister said. The Meghalaya Games was revived by the state government in 2020 and Shri Sangma said "This speaks tons about the intention of the government and interest and importance we give to sports and, more importantly, the youth of our state."

With a growing population of youngsters - 22 lakh below the age of 25 at present - it is very important that Meghalaya give the youth the opportunity to participate in the sports they love, pursue their dreams as sportspersons and showcase their talent, he added. 

It was thanks to the personal intervention of the Chief Minister that the athletes received an upgrade in their accommodation for the Games yesterday. 

"There are a lot of challenges and nothing starts readymade," he explained. "It is not a case of plug and play - we must appreciate the MSOA for taking up the challenge with the Department."

Encouraging the athletes to be disciplined, he stated, "This moment will define who you will become and shape your character. Enjoy it, learn from it and embrace discipline."

The CM received a huge cheer from the gathered athletes when he announced that the Games will be an annual event. On the decision to take the event to other parts of the state in future, he explained that there are two reasons for this - to expand sports infrastructure there and to give the young athletes a chance to experience the diversity of Meghalaya first-hand.  

Among the other dignitaries on the occasion were the Honourable Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Shri Banteidor Lyngdoh, who is also the ex-officio President of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association, and Mawphlang MLA and Indian football legend Eugeneson Lyngdoh. 

"We approached the Chief Minister to revive the Games ahead of 2020 under the tenure of the MDA government because we are very determined to encourage sports and our athletes," the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs said. "We need to give them (the athletes) the best so that they reach the pinnacle. Meghalaya Games is here to provide opportunities for athletes, boost their morale and overall competitive spirit, along with bringing them and the Association together."

He also celebrated the move to increase the number of disciplines this year to 19. The MSOA Working President, John F Kharshiing, in his welcome address, noted that there were only nine disciplines conducted in the first Meghalaya Games in 2001. 

Although there have been challenges in accommodating all the athletes, much of this is down to the fact that the JN Sports Complex is undergoing significant and extensive renovations and upgrades, resulting in space constraints. 

"All this infrastructure is for the benefit of our athletes," the minister said. He also encouraged other sports associations that are not yet affiliated with the MSOA to complete the process so that their sportspersons can take part in future Meghalaya Games.  

"I am very delighted for all of you being able to participate and I trust you will do so with the right sporting spirit. Your baby steps today will lead to giant steps tomorrow," he concluded. 

Meanwhile, Kharshiing thanked the state government for its support, saying that the event is “full of challenges but opportunities as well. The huge interest shows that children want to come and participate.” He also thanked the athletes for coping with the limitations in accommodation and promised improvements.

Also included in the opening ceremony was a march-past of athletes, oath-taking administered by star Meghalaya karateka Wandahunshisha Mawblei and the performance of songs and cultural dances. The North East Small Finance Bank also sponsored equipment for two elite shooters of the state - Anjali Singh and Dennyson Kyrsian. These were presented to the shooters by the Chief Minister. 


A fine balance: Gymnastics makes stirring debut at Meghalaya Games 2022

Only a few years ago gymnastics was pretty much dormant in Meghalaya but with the efforts of a few dedicated administrators and the love of the sport by a few youngsters, the Meghalaya Gymnastics Association was revived in 2018. 

There was no gymnastics at the 3rd Meghalaya Games in 2020 and the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic posed a serious obstacle to the sport’s revival. 

The MGA did what it could during the period, with the children who were so passionate about gymnastics getting coaching online. The MGA even arranged for its budding gymnasts to take part in events from their own homes, which was far from ideal because of the absence of infrastructure but such was the children’s determination that they even won medals from these national events. 

The association also brought in a renowned coach from Manipur, L Baleshwor Singh, who spent months in Shillong at the MGA’s expense training the children. 

Twenty-four gymnasts – all girls – spread across four categories based on age took part in vaulting, floor exercise and the balance beam at the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 at the SAI Indoor Training Centre. The youngest was just six years old and won the heart of all those present by giving it 110%. 

Judges scored the girls out of 10 points, with Wandalang Magdalene Malngiang taking gold in Cat 4 (for the oldest girls) in floor exercise. Bakmenhun Shangpliang was first in Cat 3, Wansaphi Bernadette Malngiang in Cat 2 and Ruffina Malngiang in Cat 1. 

In vaulting, Wandalang Magdalene Malngiang was the only participant in Cat 4 but still scored a gold-medal deserving 8 points. Josephine Warjri was first in Cat 3 and Sa-i-bakor Tariang in Cat 2. 

After lunch was the balance beam, where Ruffina Malngiang took gold in Cat 1, Sa-i-bakor Tariang in Cat 2, Josephine Warjri in Cat 3 and Wandalang Magdalene in Cat 4. 

Over in basketball, the players were treated to upgraded facilities at the NEIGRIHMS indoor stadium, which boasts of a fully electronic scoreboard, new back boards, a fresh coat of paint and a slight redesign that removed a few staircases that were too close to the playing area. 

West Khasi Hills won both the men’s and women’s events in 2020 and the WKH women started 2022 well with a 73-17 victory over South Garo Hills. Ri-Bhoi, meanwhile, defeated West Garo Hills 22-5. East Khasi Hills were completely dominant in their match against South West Khasi Hills, taking the game 50 points to 7. SWKH scored all 7 in the first quarters, with EKH unwilling to let them add to their tally in the other three quarters. 

In the men’s division, Ri-Bhoi were 64-35 winners against North Garo Hills, while East Jaintia Hills stormed to victory by 59 points to 29 against South West Garo Hills. 

Wushu, in Madanrting, saw two results, with Pyniohnam Marboh of East Khasi Hills defeating Habandajop Kharsahnoh of Eastern West Khasi Hills in the sub-junior boys’ below 28kg. In the below 24kg sub-junior boys’ category, Sammarbiang Kharsahnoh of EKH defeated Nangkhraw Kharsyimiong of EWKH for gold. 

Tomorrow will be the grand opening, with Honourable Chief Minister Shri Conrad K Sangma, who is also the Chief Patron of the event, formally opening the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 in the presence of Honourable Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Shri Banteidor Lyngdoh, who is also the President of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association. The opening ceremony will take place at the SSA Stadium, First Ground, Polo, from 10am.


Meghalaya Games 2022: New venues ready to make debut as Polo gets makeover

With the infrastructure at the JN Sports Complex, Polo, getting a makeover as Meghalaya makes preparations to host the 39th National Games, other venues have stepped in to ensure that the 4th edition of the Meghalaya Games 2022 will be a success.

While the SSA Stadium at First Ground, Polo, will be the site of the opening ceremony at 10:00am on Tuesday, all the actual sporting events will take place elsewhere.

Entry is free for spectators, though there will be some understandable restrictions at the Assam Regimental Centre, which will host the shooting events.

The scenic Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre at NEHU will be the busiest venue, with seven disciplines – archery, athletics, men’s football, gymnastics, weightlifting, karate and table tennis – taking place there.

The SAI Centre has a new artificial football ground and synthetic athletics track, which were inaugurated by Union Cabinet Minister (at the time in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports) Shri Kiren Rijiju in January 2021. It also has a dedicated ground for archery. The other four sports will be held at the indoor stadium on site, which recently successfully hosted the 83rd Senior National Table Tennis Championship.

Next door, badminton will take place at the NEHU Indoor Hall. Slightly farther, NEIGRIHMS will be host to the basketball events, the Mawlai Mawroh Indoor Hall will feature boxing, while Mawlai Madan Heh will be the site for women’s football up to the semifinals, with the title match to be held at SAI.

Golf, meanwhile, will be held at the iconic Shillong Golf Course. Golf is one of five disciplines that have been added to this edition of the Games, the others being football, gymnastics, weightlifting and cycling.

Cycling – both cross country and downhill races – will take place at Malki, while Shillong Club returns as the host of tennis as well as billiards and snooker.

The Laban SC Indoor Stadium will feature two martial art forms in judo and taekwondo, while wushu will be witnessed at the Madanrting Indoor Hall.

As mentioned, shooting will again be held at the Assam Regimental Centre and swimming will go on at Crinoline Swimming Pool. The closing ceremony, after several action-packed days, will bring the mega event to a fitting end at SAI.

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