Shillong: Meghalaya capped off a remarkable performance in track and field today by claiming the title of Overall Champions in the athletics events at the 2nd North East Olympic Games 2022.
Meghalaya finished with a stunning 15 gold medals, along with 9 silver and 17 bronze, for a total of 41, making athletics far and away the most successful discipline for the host state at NEOG 2022.
It is worth noting that at the 1st NEOG 2018 in Manipur, Meghalaya had won only 1 gold medal, making this performance, four years on, a truly stunning turnaround, a testament to the effort put in by the athletes, coaches, Meghalaya Government, Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, Meghalaya Athletics Association (MAA) and other stakeholders.
“To bag the Overall Champion combined title is no mean achievement. It shows the strength and depth of our athletes. Give them proper coaching, diet, infrastructure, etc and we have potential to produce a national champion,” MAA Secretary and Meghalaya State Olympic Association General Secretary Finely L Pariat said.
Assam finished second with 12 gold, 6 silver and 2 bronze and Manipur were third with 10 gold, 14 silver and 9 bronze.
Nagaland collected 9 gold, 4 silver and 10 bronze, while Tripura picked up 2 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze. Arunachal Pradesh won 1 medal in each category, while Sikkim take home 5 silver and 1 bronze and Mizoram 1 silver.
The triumph for Meghalaya means that they are just 3 gold medals away from third place Arunachal Pradesh in the NEOG 2022 medals table, as of 8:30pm. Arunachal currently lead 35 to 32. Assam hold onto first place but only just – they currently lead Manipur in terms of gold medals by 71 to 70.
The Best Athlete award for Above-20 men was Neiketoulie Belho of Nagaland, the 100m and Long Jump champion. The Above-20 women’s category title was awarded to N Chaoba Devi of Manipur, who won gold in the 800m and 1500m.
Arupjyoti Gogoi of Assam was the Under-20 men’s Best Athlete; he won gold in the 100m and 200m races. Nagaland’s Niansai T was the Best Athlete among Under-20 women for winning the 800m and 1500m.