Maharashtra pockets 228 medals, wins overall trophy

Maharashtra not only won a lion’s share of gold medals but also topped the individual ranks in both silver and bronze respectively.

Maharashtra team members pose with the trophy after topping the medals tally along with other dignitaries.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN

Host Maharashtra topped the medals table with a whopping 85 gold, 62 silver and 81 bronze in the Khelo India Youth Games that concluded at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, on Sunday.

Quite remarkably, Maharashtra not only won a lion’s share of gold medals ahead of Haryana (62), Delhi (48), Karnataka (30), Tamil Nadu (27), Uttar Pradesh (23), Punjab (23), Gujarat (15), West Bengal (13) and Kerala (12) but also topped the individual ranks in both silver and bronze respectively.

Maharashtra won a total of 228 medals, while Haryana and Delhi followed with 178 and 136 respectively.

"We are happy that Maharashtra is No.1. We want Hindustan to be No.1. That is our goal’’, said Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare of Maharashtra, Vinod Tawde, in a crisp closing ceremony.

On behalf of the Maharashtra government, it was also announced that there would be one hour of sports every day for students in all the schools in the State.

The Director General of Sports Authority of India (SAI), Neelam Kapoor, congratulated Maharashtra on the excellent organisation and expressed gratitude for taking care of about 10,000 participants, including about 6000 athletes, from across the country.

The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, presented the trophies to the champion team, apart from the second and third placed Haryana and Delhi respectively.

The unanimous voice of the speakers was pegged around the theme of the Games, "kheloge toh khiloge’’, if you play, you will prosper, driving home the importance of sports for a healthy society.

Out of the 29 teams that won medals, it was a very encouraging sign that 25 of them won at least one of the 403 gold medals that were at stake.

Quite thoughtfully, the volunteers were felicitated with a shower of golden graffiti in the end, as about 1000 of them had made the Games memorable and smooth for the participants.