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Odisha emerges overall champion in 1st Janjatiya Khel Mahotsav



Odisha emerged overall champions in both the men’s and women’s categories in the first Janjatiya Khel Mahotsav, which concluded on Monday. The grand sporting extravaganza, a joint initiative of the Union Ministry of Culture and the Odisha Government, was hosted by KIIT.

The first edition of the mega event attracted the participation of 5,000 tribal athletes and 1,000 officials from 26 States.

Describing the games as a historic event, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the event provided a unique opportunity to celebrate the athletic prowess of the tribals and to promote their cultural heritage and traditional sports on the national stage.

In the event, Karnataka emerged as the 1st runners up and Jharkhand as the 2nd runners up in the overall.

In Rugby, team Odisha won the gold in both the men’s and women’s categories. In Hockey as well, Odisha was the winner in both the men’s and women’s categories. In Kabaddi, Odisha bagged the 1st position in Men’s category while Karnataka bagged the 1st position in the women’s category. In Volleyball, Karnataka bagged the 1st place in both men and women category. In football Odisha emerged winner in the men’s category, while Chhattisgarh emerged winner in the women category. In Kho Kho, Odisha emerged the winner in both men’s and women’s category.

Stating that the Tribal sports persons have made a very significant and bright profile in the sports map of India, Chief Minister Patnaik said that in Odisha as well most of the sportspersons are from the tribal communities who have brought huge appreciation and laurels for the country. “I believe the time for the community in India is up and coming,” he said.

Thanking the Prime Minister and the Union Culture Ministry for allowing Odisha to host the first edition, he said that Odisha has developed a special affinity for sports. Today Odisha has become a sports hub for the country, he added.

The closing ceremony was attended by the ST and SC Development and Minorities and Backward Class Welfare, and Law Minister Jagannath Saraka, School and Mass Education Minister Sudam Marndi, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Culture Sanjukta Mudgal, Rugby India President Rahul Bose, KIIT and KISS Founder Achyuta Samanta and others.

Samanta, in his address, said that it was a matter of pride for KIIT to have organised the first Janjatiya Khel Mahotsav. He said that the excitement among the participants and the officials was palpable notwithstanding the rain and heat. He expressed gratitude to the Central Government, the Culture Ministry and the Odisha Government for their cooperation in making the event a grand success.

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