Swimmer Maana Patel, a multiple medal winner at the South Asian Games, believes Gujarat can finish in the ‘top five’ at the 36th National Games.
“Being a Gujarati, I am really proud my state is the host for the National Games, and it has got things ready on such short notice. Really looking forward to the Games, and I’ll win some medals for Gujarat for sure, “ Maana said at the Sportstar West Sports Conclave 2022.
The 2022 National Games is being held after seven years, with the last edition of the tournament taking place in Kerala. The ongoing competition - only table tennis is going on presently - will conclude on October 10. The mega-event is being organised across six cities — Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar.
Devendrasingh Solanki, president of Gujarat Olympic Association, said the state government, in coordination with the Centre, has made sure that infrastructure for the Games is ready.
“We held coaching camps in Ahmedabad and ensured coaches get players ready. The intention is to get good players, have good coaches and get the proper infrastructure ready,” he said.
In the previous edition of the Games, Gujarat had finished ninth with 20 medals. This time around, Maana is more optimistic.
“Gujarat finished fourth in the senior nationals. So, I think we can finish in the top five. This time, we can expect a lot of medals from swimmers. We have a very good relay team as well, and I’m participating in five individual events and two relays later, and I’m hoping to win a medal in each of the five events.”
An estimated 7,000 athletes will take part across 36 sporting disciplines in the Games. It will see participation from all 28 states and eight Union Territories as it seeks to promote the theme, ‘Sports for Unity’.
“National Games will be my last race this year, and I hope to end this season on a high,” added Maana.
The Conclave is being held in association with Hero We Care, a Hero Motocorp CSR Initiative, K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management, Indian Oil, Shiv Naresh, Stag International, SBI and LIC. It can be followed live on sportstar.thehindu.com.
The first edition of the Sportstar Sports Conclave was held in Kerala in 2021. Since then, Guwahati, Chennai and Lucknow have also hosted the event.