Shillong, Oct 11: More than 200 Meghalaya athletes will take part in the first ever North East Olympic Games, which are to be held in Imphal from 24th to 28th October, it was revealed here today.

Rs 15 lakh will be required to meet the costs relating to sending the athletes and officials to Manipur.

At a press conference called for by the Meghalaya State Olympic Association (MSOA), it was announced that sportspersons from the state athletics, archery, boxing, football, judo, karate, table tennis, weightlifting and wushu associations will be heading to Manipur to represent Meghalaya.

The local badminton association will not be sending shuttlers as the dates for the Games clashes with the planned state championships.

The media were briefed by the MSOA’s chef de mission for the NE Olympics, Finely Pariat, its General Secretary, Chiranjib Choudhury, and Working President John Kharshiing.

The latter’s presence came as a bit of a surprise to TSR as Kharshiing had last month resigned from the post “with immediate effect”. He had quit because he was no longer an office bearer of the Meghalaya Boxing Association and the MSOA’s constitution required its senior members be affiliated with a recognised sports association.

However, it turns out that the MSOA constitution actually allowed for Kharshiing to serve out his term despite not being an office bearer of the boxing association.

The trio today expressed confidence that Meghalaya’s athletes will bring home a number of medals from the Games.

“This is a great opportunity for the state’s youth to show their prowess because through this platform the sports associations and MSOA can identify in what disciplines the state’s youth are talented and we can assess their strengths and weaknesses, which will help us prepare them for the 2022 National Games,” Kharshiing said.

Choudhury singled out athletics, boxing, karate, judo, wushu and table tennis as sports where the state could win medals at the upcoming Games.

Meanwhile, Kharshiing informed that the Olympic associations of the North East states have written to the Indian Olympic Association to request for recognition of the North East Olympics with the intention of holding it every two years in rotation among the states of the region.

Meanwhile, the MSOA said that an estimated Rs 15 lakh will have to be spent on players and officials who are going for the Games at Imphal.

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