In a spectacular showcase of sportsmanship and hospitality, Goa has etched its name in the Indian sports history with the triumphant conclusion of the 37th National Games. Beyond its idyllic landscapes, the smallest state in India not only hosted a record-breaking event but also clinched its best-ever standing on the medals tally.
Over 11,000 athletes, supported by an army of operational staff, descended upon Goa to compete in 42 sports spread across 28 venues. The 22-day extravaganza set new standards for hosting multi-sport mega events, earning Goa the moniker of the “Mini Olympics of India.” Despite its size, the state showcased its commitment to excellence, delivering an event that exceeded the lofty expectations of the Indian Olympic Association.
The festivities kicked off on October 19, gaining momentum before the official inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 26th. The torch was ceremoniously passed to the Prime Minister by Goan windsurfer Katya Coelho and Indian hockey captain Harmanpreet Singh, setting the stage for a thrilling competition.
The National Games introduced seven new sports, including Sqay Martial Arts, Sepak Takraw, Kalaripayattu, and Pencak Silat, while Gatka, Mini-Golf, Lagori, and Rollball were featured as demonstration events. The diverse range of sports added a dynamic flair to the competition, captivating audiences across the country.
Notably, Badminton marked the beginning of medal quests, with Telangana’s M. Tharun and Haryana’s Anupama Upadhayaya claiming the first golds. The finale in New Delhi saw Amandeep Drall of Punjab and Yashas Chandra of Karnataka securing individual Golf honors.
A total of 1880 medals, including 555 gold, 546 silver, and 779 bronze, were awarded, with Maharashtra emerging as the overall champions after 29 years. The state’s outstanding performance in Mallakhamb, Modern Pentathlon, Gymnastics, Aquatics, and Pencak Silat secured 80 gold medals.
Karnataka showcased dominance in aquatic events, with young sensations Srihari Nataraj, Dhinidhi Desinghu, and Nina Venkatesh amassing an impressive haul of gold medals. The games also witnessed the breaking of 35 National Games records, primarily in Athletics and Aquatics, and four national weightlifting records.
Off the field, Goa’s ability to manage unseasonal heavy showers and implement an efficient waste management system drew universal praise. These accomplishments underscored the state’s commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness.
As the National Games baton passes to Uttarakhand, the legacy of the 37th edition will be remembered not only for sporting excellence but also for setting new benchmarks in event organization. The success of Goa in hosting this grand spectacle has undoubtedly raised the bar for future multi-sport events in the country, leaving a lasting impact on the landscape of Indian sports.