Guwahati, January 16, 2020:
Manipur has bagged a total of seventeen medals in Judo at the third edition of Khelo India Youth Games 2020 held in Guwahati. The state’s rise in Judo has been well documented when the Judokas took away six gold, four silver and seven bronze medals.
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The state clinched two gold medals and a silver on the last day of the Judo competition to finish second on the Judo medals’ tally, with Rebina Devi Chanam (-70kg) and Indubala Devi Maibam (-78kg) winning their events, while Inunganbi Takhellambam (-63kg) finished second.
“After Tababi Devi won the silver medal at the Youth Olympics in 2018, there was an influx in the number of judo players who joined our academy back in Manipur. The region has always had this martial arts’ culture, and judo has also benefited because of it,” said their judo Team Manager, Deven Moirangthem.
In 2018, Manipur had only managed to win two golds, three silvers and five bronze medals, and Manipuri women’s coach Chingkheinganbi credited the sporting environment for the state’s rise in Judo. “The youngsters back home like martial arts very much, as compared to other sports. We have a great environment in which we train our athletes, and I think that is the reason the landscape is changing in the state for Judo, and we are able to produce better athletes,” she said.
Speaking on Manipur’s best bet at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Chingkheinganbi said, “I think L Sushila Devi is one of India’s top judokas right now, and we are all hopeful that she can qualify for the Olympics.”
Gold medalists Maxlaishrm Meetei (Women’s -66kg), K Bishal Singh (Men’s -73kg), Jagadish Meitei Laishram (Men’s -66kg) and Matouleibi Devi Huidrom (Women’s -57kg), also led Manipur’s charge in judo with top performances in their respective events.
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