The likes of Mirabai Chanu, Avinash Sable, HS Prannoy and many more will be competing at the event.

The 36th edition of the National Games is set to begin on September 29 in Gujarat. Various players across India will participate and showcase their talent. Lahore held the first Olympic-style event in 19240, in undivided India, to identify the upcoming talent who could do well in the Olympics. However, just before the 1985 edition of the National Games, the structure of the Games was changed. To boost their importance and lift their image.

The first edition of the revamped National Games took place in the capital, New Delhi. Maharashtra were the champion in this edition and fans witnessed several champions from there onwards. Let us take you through the top five teams/states at the National Games that can create history in the 2022 edition:

Kerala

HS Prannoy will be looking to bag a medal for Kerala. (Courtesy – Free Press Journal)

With some remarkable players in the contingent, including HS Prannoy and Murali Sreeshankar, Kerala can once again script history in the 2022 Games. They won the 1987 edition of the games, which were eventually hosted solely by them. It was hosted in multiple cities for the first time as Kannur, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Kochi, and Kollam welcomes more than 6000 athletes.

Kerala topped the medal tally and became the first team to win the games by being a host as well. God’s own country, Kerala, topped the medal tally in 1999, too, but lost to Manipur in terms of points.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra has won the National Games twice, including the inaugural edition of the revamped Games in 1985, which were held in New Delhi. They repeated the feat when the games took place in Maharashtra (Mumbai and Pune) in 1994, becoming the second team to host the event and win the Games.

Maharashtra will include superstar sprinter Avinash Sable, who will look to grab a gold medal in his event. Sable impressed everyone in the World Championships and clinched silver at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. With some prominent names in their contingent, Maharashtra will look for their third victory this time.

Manipur

Manipur is another strong contender for the victory this time. They scripted history in 1999 when the state hosted the event. The National Games that year were the iconic ones, as they were taking place for the first time in the northeast. We have witnessed some incredible performances from the athletes of Manipur, including a phenomenal show from Mirabai Chanu at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The legendary weightlifter won the gold in the recently concluded event and is the hot favourite to win another gold, this time in Gujarat at the National Games. It is going to be special for Manipur if they can win this year’s National Games.

Karnataka

Srihari Nataraj will be eyeing a gold this time at the National Games. (Courtesy – SportsArena/Twitter)

The fourth edition of the revamped National Games held in Karnataka (in Bengaluru and Mysore) in 1997, and the hosts took complete advantage by winning the edition. Karnataka has had some fantastic performances in the National Games over the years, and they would like to top the list again after 25 years. The likes of Srihari Nataraj will be the ones to watch out for, especially after his impressive show at the 2022 CWG. He finished 7th in the 100m backstroke and also broke the national record in the 200m backstrokes. Nataraj will be eyeing a gold medal this time in the National Games.

Services

The last three editions of the National Games were won by the Services due to some excellent performances. The 2007 edition was held in Guwahati, while the 2011 event took place in Jharkhand. However, Kerala got the hosting rights after 28 years and hosted the event in multiple cities like before. Services were victorious each time. In 2015, Services won 91 gold medals (159 medals overall) and were ahead of Kerala and Haryana.

One of the notable performances in the 2015 edition was Jitu Rai’s three golds and one bronze in the shooting. Madhu PS, who is a swimmer, set a national record in the 100 and 200-metre backstroke and won four gold medals. All eyes would be on the players from Services, who are the favourites to win the games.

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