Shillong, Jun 25: Kyntimon Marwein and N Pholendro Singh won the women’s and men’s events respectively at the third edition of the Shillong 10K Run, which was organised after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 700 runners eagerly took part in the race, which began and ended at the JN Sports Complex, Polo.

The race was held to celebrate International Olympic Day, which is observed annually on 23 June to mark the foundation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894. Races of 10km in length are held all over the world on the nearest Saturday as part of the occasion.

Pholendro crossed the finish line first with a time of 32 minutes and 21 seconds, in a tight finish that saw him edge Hepstarly Lyngkhoi (32:23) and Wolbetstar Nongsiej (32:24) in second and third respectively.

The women’s race was won by Kyntimon (41:15), who was more than a minute ahead of Marqueenless Ramsiej (42:20) and nearly three minutes ahead of her sister, Bandasharai Marwein (44:06).

The victors of both races received Rs 10,000 each, with Rs 7,000 each for the second-placed finishers and Rs 5,000 each for those who came third. Consolation prizes of Rs 1,000 each were given to those who finished from fourth to eight places in both categories.

There were also special prizes for the veterans – those above 50 years – with Kmoin Wahlang stealing the show in the women’s event. The 74-year-old became a true inspiration for the whole state after running the Mumbai Marathon for the first time in 2019 and she has shone at many other long-distance events in Meghalaya and the rest of the country since. She crossed the finish line in a time of 57 minutes, 16 seconds, ahead of 54-year-old Melina Nonglang (1:02:40) and 55-year-old Trisina Wanniang (1:05:24).

In the men’s veterans category, just one second separated 57-year-old Swonding Mawlong (40:54) and 50-year-old Badon Singh Tham (40:55), while Pynshngainlang Dkhar, also 50, finished the race in 41:25 minutes.

Following the successful conclusion of the event, the MSOA, at a separate function, also formally opened the association’s new office nearby, with the ribbon cut by MSOA Working President John F Kharshiing and Vice-Presidents Bor Diengdoh and Matsiewdor War Nongbri.

Later, eight members of state sports associations who have been elected as members of national federations were also felicitated for their accomplishments. The eight are Kharshiing (Vice-President of the National Rifle Association of India), Paia B War Nongbri (Vice-President of the Archery Federation of India), Finely L Pariat (Association Vice-President of the Athletics Federation of India), Larry Kharpran (Joint Secretary of the Boxing Federation of India), Pynbianglang Laloo (Executive Member of the Badminton Association of India), Donny Ranee (Executive Member of the Wushu Association of India), Gaurav Bajaj (Member of the Governing Council of the Indian Golf Union) and Neil Sootinck (Member of the Governing Body of the National Rifle Association of India).

Diengdoh was also felicitated as senior Vice-President of the MSOA and for being an active contributor to the administration of football in India for many years.

Lastly, all the sports associations affiliated to the MSOA were presented with financial grants-in-aid by the Meghalaya government to help them organise sporting events and nurture their disciplines in Meghalaya. The grants ranged as high as Rs 3 lakh.

Instead of approaching the government individually, the MSOA executive has decided that it would be more efficient to submit requests as a joint body based on the requirements of individual associations and the state government has accepted this move.

In his speech, Pariat thanked the government, especially the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh and Commissioner & Secretary for Sports & Youth Affairs Vijay Kumar, for their continuing support to the MSOA and affiliated associations to expand Meghalaya’s sports footprint.

Meanwhile, although he could not be present in person as he is currently travelling, Banteidor, who is also ex-officio President of the MSOA, sent a message that was read out to the gathering. In it, he called on other sports associations to register themselves with the MSOA and, until they meet all the criteria, he suggested that they be granted associate membership, without voting rights, so that all sports in the state can be brought under one umbrella for the benefit of all.

(Meghalaya State Olympic Association photos)

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