Arunachal Pradesh topped the medal tally with 68 medals at the 5th North East India Karate Do Championship, which concluded at the Nyokum Lapang ground in Itanagar on Monday.

Arunachal bagged 45 gold, 12 silver, and an equal number of bronze to emerge overall champion.

Assam finished second with 18 gold, 29 silver and 14 bronze medals, followed by Meghalaya with nine gold, 13 silver and 26 bronze medals in the third position.

Ironically, Manipur, considered a powerhouse of Indian sports, finished a lowly seventh with just seven silver and 14 bronze medals.

Other medal winning states and teams were Mizoram with two gold, seven silver and 14 bronze; Assam Rifles with three gold and one silver and bronze medals each; Nagaland with one gold and six bronze; Sikkim with four silver and 17 bronze, Darjeeling Gorkha Karate Association with two silver and seven bronze; and Arunachal Pradesh Police Sports Control Board with two silver and three bronze medals.

A total of 470 players and officials took part in the championship.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Sports and Youth Affairs Joint Secretary, Mige Kamki lauded the untiring efforts of Arunachal Karate Do Association (AKA) President, ‘Shihan’ Likha Tara and AKA Technical Director S Deben Sarma, towards promotion and development of karate in Arunachal Pradesh.

Kamki said Tara has taken a lot of pain while Sarma worked silently for more than 30 years for popularizing and developing karate in Arunachal Pradesh.

“The tree they planted three decades ago has started to bear fruit,” he said, and exuded confidence that under the duo’s leadership karate would achieve more popularity.

Sports Authority of Arunachal (SSA) chairman Bamang Tago said Itanagar and Naharlagun are emerging as new sports hubs with various sports activities taking place regularly.

Stating that the people of Arunachal Pradesh are very hospitable and friendly in nature, he expressed hope that the participants would carry back fond memories of the State.

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