Natung extols karatekas, assures adequate funds

* Hanshi Tara seeks GoAP help * Itanagar to host Sr karate champ

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Nov 12: Arunachalee karatekas led by Karate Association of India president-cum-Commonwealth Karate Federation vice president Hanshi Likha Tara have won laurels for India in three-day South Asian Karate Championship (SAKC) that concluded at Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Nov 11 last, said Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Mama Natung after felicitating them here on Tuesday.

Congratulating seven state karatekas on behalf of GoAP and state people, particularly Hanshi Tara for leading 46-member Indian team to spectacular victory by winning 51 (32 gold, 9 silver & 10 bronze) medals,  Natung said that they have made India, particularly Arunachal Pradesh proud with their feat. Karate is a tough game which need total commitment, consistent practice under guidance of the coach, brown belt holder Natung, said adding that the players need proper diet and constant medical counseling while Arunachalee karateks proved their worth even by eating boiled food staffs.

Games and sport have been given a new thrust by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union MoS for Sports & Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju and state Chief Minister Pema Khandu, he said and announced to ensure higher allocation of funds in budget during next fiscal year. However, he urged Hanshi Tara to suggest in writing the shortcomings and how the GoAP could extend help to the karatekas to bring global medals.

“It is high time to boost morale for state’s talented sports persons and improve required sports infrastructures for the state players to rise to higher pedestal by winning medals,” he said, adding coaches for three Sports Centres of Excellence, announced by Rijiu here in July last, have reached here to begin coaching. He also announced Rs 10,000 each personal cash award to seven karatekas as token of recognition and advised them practice hard to aim for Olympic medals.

Winner karatekas, Mangkhiya absent due to ill health

The winners are: gold medal – Anand Cheri (75-kg, junior Kumite), Doni Neri (67-kg, junior Kumite), Karasang Yanga (55-kg, senior Kumite) and Bahadur Ekke (57-kg, Cadet Kumitei), Raja Yangfo (60-kg) and Johnny Mangkhiya (68-kg)  while Mangkhiya won silver and  Yangfo bronze in team kumite senior female & senior male respectively.

India for first time achieved such glory under his leadership, Hanshi Tara said and recalled that Mangkhiya and Yangfo had defeated female and male world karate champions respectively during Asian Karatedo Championships in which players of 40 affiliated nations take part. The duo’s performance had drawn global attention about improving stature of India in karate, he said.

Their performance was due to Mangkhiya’s training in Iran sent by him he said adding Yangfo too would be sent to Iran for training, he said and suggested that those players retiring from active games should be taken by sport department to make use of their talent and experience  to give desired direction to sports in the state.

Informing that he was committed to take karate to new height which could be possible with adequate support of the state and central Govts, he said and urged Minister Natung to ensure the GoAP support to achieve the goal.

Recalling his Dhaka experience, Indian coach Shihan S. Deben Sharma said that performance of Indian karateks was superb for which the medal tally of 21 in Sri Lanka Karate Championship in May 2018 rose to 51 in Dhaka event.

Yangfo had also defeated world karate champion in Kazakhstan Open-2019 in July last and such bright performances had pushed up India’s position in global karate ranking t 80 from 140. Though total 10 karatekas were selected from NE (Assam, Manipur & Meghalaya 1 each) but Arunachalees’ show was lauded by all, Sharma added.

KAI technical official Bulang Marik regretted that financial crush is the greatest drawback for growth of karate in the state. The reimbursement of expenditures for any global event by the GoAP gets inordinate delay up to three to four years for the poor players suffer; he said hand sought support of the GoAP to avoid such delay.

Appreciating the GoAP for announcing to hike grant for boxing championship from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, he said all possible support for successfully conducting proposed senior karate championship at Itanaagar in February 2020.

Quoting Swami Vivekananda – Arise, awake, stop not till the goal is not reached, sports assistant director  Karbia Dodum exhorted the karatekas to aim for Olympic gold now.

Youth affairs joint director Ramesh Lingi and Arunachal Karate-Do Association technical director Dr Marli Ete.

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