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Concentrate on producing players: Kamalesh

GUWAHATI: Former national table tennis champion and Arjuna awardee Kamalesh Mehta today said Asom should now concentrate on producing good players as it has sports infrastructure in the state which can be compared to international ones.

Mehta, one of the best table tennis player that the country has ever produced, was in the city to attended a series of functions organized to mark the Abhiruchi Sports Day. The paddler, who was accompanied by his wife, former table tennis player and Arjuna awardee Monalisa Baruah Mehta.

Delivering his speech as the chief guest at a glittering function held at the Ravindra Bhavan where 26 sportsperson were felicitated, the son in law of the State said: "Assam now has the best sports infrastructure in the country and immediate steps should be taken to produce good quality players by utilising these infrastructures. He, however, said it will require a combined effort from every one- from players, coaches and officials of different state associations."
He also added that the 33rd National Games, held at Guwahati, was the best one he had ever seen." "Even all the top-level sports organizers of the country admitted that Guwahati hosted the National Games in a fantastic way which made me feel very proud,” said Mehta.

It may be mentioned here that September 3 is the birthday of Bhogeswar Baruah, the first Arjuna awardee from Asom, and the day is celebrated as a sports day throughout the State.

The day's programmes started with a mass-jogging programme which got under way from Chandmari flyover and was flagged off by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. A good number of school students, even though it was a holiday, took part in the jogging that culminated at the Nehru Stadium.

In a brief speech before the mass jogging was flagged of, Gogoi said, that the State Government had laid priority on the development of sports in school-level. The Government, he said, has already taken a few steps in this regard.

Apart from the 26 sportspersons, few sports organizers, a coach and the head of different educational institutions of the city were also felicitated at the function held in the evening.

Monalisa Baruah, on the other hand, announced that two awards would be instituted in the name of her late father on Abhiruchi Sports Day from the next year.

Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi flagging off a mass run organized on the occasion of 24th Abhiruchi Sports Day at Chandmari Fly Over in Guwahati on 03-09-07. Pix by UB Photos.

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