Guwahati: Assam Friday staved off the challenge from Goa and Jharkhand to wrest the rights to host the 33rd National Games in 2005.
Assam secured 24 more votes than its nearest rival Goa at the IOA’s executive body meeting in Hyderabad this afternoon. Strong contender Haryana pulled out of the bid at the last moment.
Director of sports N.N. Borkataky said Assam, the second northeastern state after Manipur to claim the rights to host the Games since 1999, secured more than 50 per cent of the votes.
The favourable verdict was the result of concerted lobbying by Assam Olympic Association (AOA) secretary Mukut Medhi, who was backed to the hilt by the association’s president and chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
Medhi, sports minister and AOA vice-president Robin Bordoloi and Kamrup deputy commissioner and Assam Rowing Association president A.K. Absar Hazarika represented the state at the meeting.
“It is a big day for Assam. Our efforts have yielded results. I am grateful to those who have helped us secure the Games, including K.P.S. Gill, K.P. Singh Deo, Harish Sharma, Manoj Jalan, Alok Ghosh and the northeastern states for their support,” Medhi, who represented the Basketball Federation of India, told The Telegraph from Hyderabad.
The Games would bring in more than Rs 200 crore in building and upgrading existing infrastructure in Guwahati. Dibrugarh will host the equestrian events, while hockey matches will be played in Nagaon.