Goa will host the 2023 National Games from October 26 to November 9, as the state’s minister of sports Govind Gaude confirmed on Friday. In late June, the 37th edition of the National Games was tentatively announced by the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) technical committee, subject to confirmation of the daily program. Now, the dates have been approved. Athletes from all of India’s states and Union Territories compete for medals in the homegrown Olympic-style multisport National Games.
Several well-known Indian athletes have competed in the National Games, including Manu Bhaker, Sania Mirza, Mirabai Chanu, Neeraj Chopra, and Sajan Prakash. Goa will be hosting the National Games for the first time this year. The rights to host the 36th edition, which was first planned for 2016, were granted to Goa. Gujarat did, however, host the main event last year following several postponements.
Known as the Indian Olympic Games until 1938, the National Games were originally staged in Lahore, then part of independent India, in 1924. There will be a record 43 sports in this year’s National Games, including Olympic and native sports. More than 7,000 individuals participated in 36 sports last year. Yogasana, mallakhamb, and Kho Kho debuted at the National Games. Several new sports, including beach football, roll ball, golf, sepaktakraw, sqay martial arts, kalliyarapattu, and pencak silat, will make their debut at the National Games in 2023. Taekwondo and sailing are also returning after being eliminated from the last event.
Lagori and gatka, two traditional sports, are now demonstration sports. The many tournaments will be held at various locations around Goa. But there will be golf and cycling in New Delhi. It is anticipated that about 10,000 athletes will compete in the 2023 National Games. With 128 medals, including 61 gold, the Services Sports Control Board—the Indian Armed Forces team—became the Gujarat National Games champions last year. After winning 140 medals in total, including 39 gold ones, Maharashtra came in just ahead of Haryana, which finished with 38 gold medals out of a total of 116.