The National Games, making a return to the Indian sporting calendar for the first time since 2015, is being held in Gujarat this time around. Close to 7000 athletes from 28 states, eight union territories and the Services will compete in 36 sporting disciplines.
Here's everything you need to know about the 2022 National Games -
When will the National Games of India 2022 begin?
The National Games is making a comeback after a long gap of seven years. Technically, the event started with the table tennis competition, which was held between September 20 to 24.
A few more sporting events have also begun; however, the opening ceremony is scheduled for September 29 at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and the bulk of the sports will commence on 30th. The Games will come to a close on October 12.
Is Gujarat hosting the event?
Yes, the Games will be held across six cities of Gujarat - Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar. This is the first time Gujarat is hosting the National Games. However, the track cycling event will take place in Delhi at the velodrome.
Why are the National Games taking place after a seven-year gap?
The previous edition of the National Games took place in Kerala in 2015. Goa was supposed to host the next National Games in 2016 but due to logistical issues, the event kept getting postponed. In 2019, the Indian Olympic Association even threatened to impose a penalty of Rs 10 crore on Goa for failing to organise the Games. In 2020, the Games were once again postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Games are supposed to take place every two years, leaving those years in which the Olympic Games and Asian Games are scheduled. However, this has not been practiced in recent times.
What are the events at this edition of the National Games?
Around 7000 athletes from 28 states and eight union territories along with the Services - sports team of the Indian Armed Forces, will participate in the National Games. Overall, there are 36 sporting events.
These are: Aquatics, archery, Indian archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, beach sports, boxing, canoeing, cycling, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, judo, kabaddi, kho kho, lawn bowls, mallakhambh, netball, roller sports, rowing, rugby 7s, shooting, soft tennis, softball, squash, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, wushu and yogasana.
What happened at the table tennis event?
The table tennis event began early because players had to leave for the World Championships, which will be held in Chengdu, China from September 30 to October 9.
Gujarat's Harmeet Desai and West Bengal's Sutirtha Mukherjee won the singles gold medal in the men's and women's competitions respectively.
Gujarat and West Bengal won the gold medals in the team competition as well. In total, Sutirtha won three gold medals in the Games - singles, doubles and team events.
What about the big stars? Will they participate in the 2022 National Games?
Here's a simple breakdown on top stars at the National Games based on various reports:
Stars who have already participated: Manika Batra, G Sathiyan in table tennis.
Stars who'll be missing due to injury and exhaustion: Neeraj Chopra (javelin throw), PV Sindhu (badminton), Bajrang Punia (Wrestling) and Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing).
Stars who'll be participating: Mirabai Chanu (weightlifting), Avinash Sable (steeplechase), Murali Sreeshankar (long jump), Annu Rani (javelin throw) and Srihari Nataraj (swimming).
Which teams have dominated the previous editions of the National Games?
The Services team has reigned supreme across the last three editions of the National Games. In 2015, athletes from Services won 91 gold medals and 159 in total. In 2011 (Jharkhand) and 2007 (Guwahati), the Services team clinched 70 and 59 gold medals. Among the states, athletes from Manipur, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra and Punjab have traditionally done well.
Where can you watch the National Games 2022 live?
The Games will be televised live on Doordarshan Sports and the YouTube channel of Prasar Bharti Sports.
Here's the full schedule of the Games:
Table Tennis: September 20 to 24
Kabaddi: September 26 to October 1
Netball: September 26 to 30
Rugby 7s: September 28 to 30
Shooting (rifle and pistol): September 29 to October 3
Shooting (shotgun): September 30 to October 7
Wrestling: September 30 to October 2
Triathlon: September 30 to October 2
Archery: September 30 to October 6
Kho-Kho: September 30 to October 4
Lawn Bowls: September 26 to October 3
Tennis: September 29 to October 5
Roller sports - Skateboarding: September 30 and October 1
Roller sports - Skating: September 30 and October 2
Fencing: September 30 to October 4
Gymnastics: September 30 to October 4
Weightlifting: September 30 to October 4
Rowing: September 30 to October 3
Football (Women): October 1 to 10
Cycling (track): October 1 to 4
Squash: October 1 to 5
Badminton: October 1 to 6
Basketball 3x3: October 1 to 3
Basketball 5x5: October 1 to 6
Football (Men): October 2 to 11
Aquatics: October 2 to 8
Hockey: October 2 to 9
Boxing: October 5 to 12
Yogasana: October 6 to 11
Golf: October 6 to 9
Mallakhambh: October 7 to 11
Soft Tennis: October 7 to 11
Judo: October 7 to 11
Cycling (road): October 8 and 9
Wushu: October 8 to 11
Canoeing: October 10 and 11
Athletics: September 30 to October 4
Softball: October 7 to 11
Beach Volleyball: October 6 to 9
Volleyball: October 8 to 12