Imphal, Feb 9 : Chief Minister N Biren Singh opened the 41st National Master Athletics Championship, 2020 at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium today. CAF and PD Minister Karam Shyam, president of World Master Athletics, Stan Perkins, World Master Athletics woman representative, Wilma Parkein, Master Athletics Federation of India secretary general, David Premnath and Master Athletics Federation of India President, Dharamvir Dhillon were also present at the opening ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, N Biren Singh said that the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called Manipur as the Jewel of India. Due to the consistent contribution of the State to the sports movement of the country, Manipur is known as the Sports Power House of the country, he said.
He pointed out that it is a great privilege for Manipur to host such a prestigious event. He then expressed hope that such competitions would definitely bring unity and understanding among people belonging to different States of the country. Maintaining that it is well regarded in the western countries that life actually begins at 60, the Chief Minister said that such championships would encourage the idea of keeping fit and healthy throughout our life. The competition would not only encourage the idea of keeping our health fit and fine but also strengthen the idea of One India, he added.
In his speech, Minister Karam Shyam opined that games and sports never depend on age. It can start or continue at any stage of life and it is the best medicine to keep ourselves healthy. The Minister also said that the participants of the competition are great inspiration to the youth and it would encourage National integration as well.
Around 4000 athletes from 27 States and Union Territories will vie for total 250 medals in the championship which will continue till February 14. The championship is being organised by Manipur Master Athletics Association under the aegis of Master Athletics Federation of India.
The opening day of the championship witnessed hosts, Manipur amass 7 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals.
M Indira Devi earn Manipur a gold medal in the women's 50+ 800 m event with the best time of 3 minutes 32 seconds which was 4.3 seconds ahead of second placed Maharashtra's Smital Sakpal as Tamil Nadu's K Nalini finished third with a time of 3:39.6.
In the 50+ men's 800 m event, Gonesh Gogoi of Assam (2:27.4), Muralidhar BA of Tamil Nadu (2:34.0) and Panchananda Ghosh of West Bengal (2:36.7) finished first, second and third.
Meanwhile in the 55+ women's 800 m event, Assam's Anima Chamuah grabbed first place by clocking 3:35.6 while Manipur's Ph Purnimashi Devi (3:38.1) and Th Tananbi Devi (3:45.2) finished second and third.
Delhi's Pardeep Kumar ran 2:46.3 to win the 55+ men's 800 m gold as Numal Deka of Assam (2:47.4) and K Ranadhar of Andhra Pradesh (2:48.0) finished second and third.
Manipur's M Pramo bagged a bronze medal in the women's 60+ 800 m race recording 3:35.4 as Davinder Kaur of Punjab got the top honour (3:26.1) and Tamil Nadu's Asha Rajini bagged the silver with a time of 3:31.5.
O Loken on the other hand bagged a gold medal for Manipur in the men's 60+ 800 m event by finishing the course in 2 minutes 45.6 seconds. Assam's Indreswar Bora (2:49.2) and Inder Singh of Haryana (2:52.5) earned silver and bronze medals in the said event.
Ch Thambalshang also earned Manipur a gold medal in the women's 65+ 800 m event by taking 4 minutes and 6.2 seconds as Telangana's Rachel Chatterjee took 5:53.2 to win the silver.
L Imocha then won the men's 65+ 800 m event gold finishing the course in 2 minutes 57.1 seconds while N Ramanathan of Tamil Nadu with 2:57.9 and N Sanatomba of Manipur with 3:01.9 won the silver and the bronze medal respectively.
Thoudam Akashini Devi also earned Manipur a gold medal in the women's 70+ 800 m by taking 4 minutes 15.8 seconds before Ibemnungshi added another gold to Manipur's tally by finishing 800 m race for 80+ women's in 6 minutes and 30.4 seconds.
Manipur's Thoudam Mohori won the lone gold medal in the long jump event of the day as he finished first with a leap of 4.77 m in the men's 60+ category. Manipur's Thiyam Radhesana (3.55 m leap in women's 40+) and L Kunjeshor (4.59 m leap in men's 55+) on the other hand won silver medals in the long jump events while H Noren Singh managed 10.37 m throw in the shot put for men's 45+ to win a silver medal.