36th National Games | J&K’s campaign ends on a disappointing note

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Srinagar, Oct 15: Jammu and Kashmir’s dismal performance in the 36th National Games 2022 in Gujarat culminated with J&K placing 27th overall in the medal count.

After a seven-year hiatus, the country’s most prestigious multi-sport competition was conducted, and J&K was only able to win 12 medals, placing them in the 27th position overall.

J&K placed far behind small States like Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Andaman Nicobar, or even Uttarakhand among the 37 teams that included States, Union Territories, and Services.

Only one gold, one silver, and ten bronze medals were won by J&K in the competition. With a finish of 26, Uttarakhand collected 18 medals.

With 128 medals and more gold medals (61), Services took first place, followed by Maharashtra with 140 medals and Haryana with 116 medals.

The 36th National Games’ performance by the J&K contingents was dismal from that standpoint. Compared to the prior game release, it has been worse. J&K won 15 medals in the 35th National Games, which were held in Kerala in 2015, and finished 22nd in the medals table. J&K won 12 medals and finished on the 27th spot in the medals table in the 34th National Games, which were held in Jharkhand in 2011.

J&K had done well in 33rd National Games 2007 in Assam, bagging 16 medals and finishing in 20th place.

All these years, J&K performance instead of going upwards has been going down with results even in the disciplines where J&K athletes used to dominate turning out as disappointments.

In the current edition of games held in Gujarat, J&K was competing in only 14 disciplines out of 35 available with J&K teams failing to qualify in the rest. Out of 14, J&K could bag medals only in four disciplines with nine coming out as blank. In Wushu, J&K bagged six medals that included one gold, one silver and four bronze while in Kayaking Canoeing, J&K bagged one silver and one bronze. In Fencing J&K bagged three bronze medals while in Gymnastics one bronze medal.

“While the concerned department has been boosting its sports achievements and terming J&K as a sports powerhouse, the disappointing performance of the J&K contingent in the Games is likely to serve as a reality check. Instead of boosting the achievements of lesser-known events, J&K needs to focus on the disciplines where its strength is,” an official said.

“This is dismal performance. Nothing to cheer about. Sports Council needs to introspect. Apart from Wushu, Kayaking Canoeing and perhaps Fencing nothing to talk about,” said renowned sports analyst Sajid Hamid.

“I hope this time no HallaGulla is made and reality accepted and remedial steps are taken. I know different deptts and associations present rosy pictures before authorities. The reality is what we did in the National Games,” he added.

With the next games scheduled to be held in Goa next year, there is very little time left for J&K to revive its sports sector. The Sports Council will need to take concerned associations to task and take a full review of their performances. The functioning of those associations that fail to qualify for the Games needs to be reviewed. J&K’s chances of bagging more medals will multiple with more qualifications. There are 36 disciplines in which National Games is being held and J&K teams should atleast qualify in 25.

Also, J&K needs to focus on its strengths and the disciplines which give more medals in the Games.

J&K Sports Council Joint Secretary Bashir Ahmad stated that the sports council will evaluate the teams’ performance and work to get ready early for the upcoming competition.

“There are many reasons for such an outcome of the J&K contingent. Though going by the records we have not been doing well in the top event of the Country but still, in some disciplines, our teams used to give exemplary performances. We expected more medals in those categories but as the events were reduced in Gymnastics, Kayaking Canoeing we had less participation,” Bashir Ahmad said.

“Sports Council will take a review of all those associations who feature in National Games. We will review their performances and take them to task for why they aren’t able to qualify for the games. In the current edition, we had participation in only 14 disciplines out of 36 available. If we will have more athletes in the games, the chances of getting medals will multiply,” he said.

Sports Council Joint Secretary said that for the next edition of the games Sports Council will prepare early for better results.

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