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National Games 2022: Paddlers to compete before opening ceremony to avoid clash with World Championships

Gandhinagar, Sep 11 (IANS) Star Indian paddlers — Achanta Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan and Manika Batra — will be among the earliest athletes in action at the National Games 2022 as Table Tennis competition will be held before the opening ceremony, to avoid clash of dates of with World Championships.

The long-awaited 36th National Games will get under way on September 29, with a spectacular opening ceremony to be attended by over one lakh people.

“Since the World Table Tennis Championship begins in Chengdu, China, on September 30, the National Games Organising Committee decided to hold the Table Tennis competition from September 20 to 24 in Surat,” the organisers said in a release on Sunday.

After the opening ceremony, India’s top athletes in 37 disciplines will line up for their respective states, hoping to garner glory and gold. Being held after seven years, the National Games will play out in six cities of Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Gandhi Nagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar). New Delhi will host the cycling competitions.

Over 7,000 athletes from 28 states and 8 union territories will be seen in action, making this the biggest sporting extravaganza in the country.

“Gujarat, who stepped in to host the Games just three months back, has got everything together in record time and is confident of conducting one of the most memorable shows.

Apart from those nursing injuries or who are in rehab, every mega star in his or her respective sport will be in Gujarat, setting the stage for thrilling battles. A few other stars might miss out because their State has not qualified in that particular discipline,” the organisers further said.

Meanwhile, the sports like Kabaddi (Sep 26), Netball (Sep 26), Lawn Bowls and Rugby 7s (both Sep 28) also begin before the Opening Ceremony. Traditional Indian sports Kho-kho, Yogasana and Mallakhamb will make their National Games debut.

Gujarat, who have embarked on an ambitious journey to emerge as a sports powerhouse by breaking into the Top 5 for the first time, will be fielding one of the largest contingents as the host State.

–IANS

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