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While every now and then there are claims of J&K winning bag-full of medals in various national and international competitions, J&K has finished below par 20th in the official Khelo India Youth Games that recently concluded at Chhattrapati Sports Complex, Maharashtra.

The games that are part of the revamped national programme for development of sports – Khelo India – saw 10,000 participants, which included 5925 athletes. J&K had fielded contingent of 47 participants in nine disciplines. While Maharashtra with total medal tally of 228 finished overall champions, Haryana finished second with 178 medals. Delhi finished third with 136 medals.

J&K finished at 20th place with eight medals after having bagged three gold, four silver and one bronze. The 21st placed State team; Uttarakhand had 15 medals but due to less number of silver medals than J&K finished one place below. They had three gold, two silver and 10 bronze medals.

It is a below par performance from the J&K in the reputed games which within two years of existence have turned into premier sports extravaganza at the junior level.

“This is tough competition in which all the top level junior sportspersons from all over country participate. It is during these events real picture of sports strength and improvement comes to fore. These are not any local level event named national or international wherein our J&K players claim to have bagged medals,” said international water sports coach Bilquis Mir.

“Those players from J&K who have bagged eight medals for J&K are the real stars and they should be hailed and awarded. DYSS should highlight them in bigger way rather than highlighting those invaluable achievements that mean nothing. They are our real stars,” she added.

A well known sports administrator and former player, Nisar Hussain said, “This is wakeup call for our sports administrators and coaches. Instead of hiding behind non relevant achievements that mean little, they should now impart focus based training to our sportspersons. They should train our players for events like these and ultimately for Asian Games and Olympics.”

“Recently a sports association sent 110 players for national competition and then claimed that its players bagged 100 plus medals in the event. If such is level of talent in our State then why no medal or very lesser number of medals in top level competitions and elite sports,” he added.