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Why the National Games are taking place after a gap of 7 years — Explained

The National Games will be making a comeback after a wait of 7 long years as Gujarat will play host to the 36th edition of the multi-sporting extravaganza. Find out why the delay took place!

Why the National Games are taking place after a gap of 7 years — Explained

The 2022 National Games mascot


Sohinee Basu

Updated: 19 Sep 2022 2:44 PM GMT

The 36th National Games is all set for a grand opening on 29th September with Gujarat playing host to the multi-sporting extravaganza as it makes a comeback after seven long years.

With 36 sports events on the roster, the 36th edition of the National Games will be held across six cities of Gujarat — Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar with the cycling events taking place in the country capital, New Delhi.

The previous edition of the National Games took place in 2015 and was held in Kerala where Services bagged the most medals (91 gold), followed by Kerala and Haryana.

And since then it has been seven long years since the National Games took place again.

In 2016, Goa was supposed to host the 36th edition of the National Games in November but couldn't end up staging it. Instead, the National Games got repeatedly postponed with the Goa government dragging their feet over the matter, causing delays in 2018 and 2019 as well.

The National Games were then scheduled to be held in 2020 - before things went off-track as the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, causing all sporting events to come to a halt.

Now, with the pandemic slowly behind us, the proposal to host National Games surfaced again and the Goa government revealed that they weren't ready to host the mega-scale sporting event this year, given their lack of multi-sporting infrastructure yet.

This turned the tide towards Gujarat becoming the hosts for this year, instead and bringing the National Games back once again.

Other than the regular Indian sports, indigenous sports like Mallakhamba and Yogasana have also been included as a part of the National Games roster, making for a grand re-start.

With the spirit of sporting revelry already in the air, the table tennis events will mark the beginning of the Games from 20th September as they are being held earlier than the rest of the Games to avoid a date-clash with World Table Tennis Team Championships-bound paddlers.

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