Khelo India Youth Games with colourful closing ceremony

The defending champions romped to a whopping 256 medals, including 78 gold and 77 silver to underline their pre-eminence in a multi-game event of this scale once more time.

The picturesque city of Guwahati bid an emotional goodbye to the Khelo India Youth Games here on Wednesday, crowing Maharashtra the unconquered champions during a power-packed and entertaining closing ceremony.

Assam’s Honourable Chief Minister, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, and Hon’ble Union Minister of State, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Shri Rameshwar Teli, presented the trophy to the winners even as a packed stadium rose to its feet.

“ I would like to congratulate all the participating teams from across states and everyone who has been part of this journey of making Khelo India Youth Games 2020 a mega success. Over the past 13 days the city  was on song, witnessing some scintillating sports action. There was a feeling of competitive spirit and sportsmanship amongst all contestants and at the end we saw Maharashtra winning the championship. The tournament is a big boost towards achieving our Honorable Prime Minister’s  Shri Narendra Modi’s long term vision of Fit India movement. I salute the hard work of all  athletes that participated in the games as they will be the ones who will go on to bring major sporting  laurels for our country globally. said the Honourable Chief Minister Of Assam Shri Sarbananda Sonowal   

Hon’ble Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju, Assam’s Hon’ble Finance Minister, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, were among the many dignitaries and local celebrities who graced the occasion.

Hon’ble Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Kiren Rijiju, said “I congratulate all the athletes for their enthusiastic participation in Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati. Congratulations to Maharashtra for winning the champions trophy two years in a row. I am confident  that from among this year’s winners will emerge our future champions who will represent India at international events and even at the Olympics, in the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. Our motto has been to provide the best facilities and a world class experience to athletes at the Khelo India Games. This is the platform from which they are starting their sporting journey, and with the right grooming they will  evolve into international sporting icons

Immediately after the awards ceremony, Assam showcased their rich cultural heritage in a crisp and beautiful show, led by a Modern Creative Dance performance by Aimee Baruah, Directed by Asim.

Before a range of local performers hit the stage, Chinese Martial Artists wowed the audience with their speed, power and elegance. They were specially flown in to mark the 70th year of the India-China friendship.

Performances by Ms Tarulata Kutum with Missing Dancers, Sajan Nayak with Jhumuir Dancers and a solo by Babita Sharma set the mood for the evening. Popular Assamese singer Jitul Sonowal too charmed everybody with his mellifluous sings.

In between, Krishnamoni Chutiya performed the Bihu Song which was beautifully choreographed by Pankaj Engiti, to the delight of the local fans.

The evening was topped up by a live concert by Bollywood singing star Shaan. The playback singer got the audience, including the athletes, on their feet as he belted out a series of his hit numbers.

Dodiya Sonal : Won gold in the 44kg category judo competition

Gujarat’s Dodiya Sonal was ecstatic after she won gold in the 44kg category judo competition at the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati. The young judo athlete expressed that her parents have worked day and night to ensure that she is provided with all the facilities.

“We are not a very affluent family. My father is a rickshaw driver and works at the farm in our house. My mother works at the farm and takes care of all the work at home as well. It’s been quite difficult for my family to support my judo career. When I wanted to participate in selection trials, my father worked day and night to help me get selected,” said Sonal.

The judo athlete, who clinched gold in the last edition of the Khelo India Youth Games as well, said that the tournament is a fantastic one for young athletes.

“The Khelo India Youth Games is a great tournament for us. Every year, talented athletes are included in the Khelo India scheme and are provided with facilities,” said Sonal.

Gujarat has been making rapid strides in judo in the last few years and Sonal was quick to point out the rise of the sport in her state.

“Gujarat didn’t win too many medals in judo. But as the sport grew in the state, we started winning medals in state competitions. Earlier, everyone aimed for bronze in nationals, but now we have gold medallists from Gujarat,” signed off Sonal.