Shillong, Jan 14: The state government has approved the name of Hameshaniah Suiam as recipient of the U Kiang Nangbah Award for sports at a cabinet meeting here today.

The award is given out annually as part of the Meghalaya Day celebrations but is handed out on Republic Day.

The kickboxer, once the World No. 28, has won numerous honours for the state and country of the years. In 2019 he won a gold medal at the 10th Diamond Kickboxing World Cup in Russia while in 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, he came top in his category at the Indian Open International Kickboxing Tournament in New Delhi.

The Shangpung native deserves this honour, no doubt, but it is noteworthy that he did not receive any recognition from the government when it dished out Sports Achievement Awards in August.

Kickboxing in Meghalaya is currently split between those operating under the aegis of two, if not three, different bodies. There appears to be little progress (or effort) on the part of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association or Directorate of Sports & Youth Affairs to sort out the mess and the ones who have often suffered are the martial artists.

(File photo)

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