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Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: The three-day State Level Tribal Sports Competition 2018 that kicked off on May 30 concluded at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Friday with Khurda emerging overall champions in the meet.

Attending the closing ceremony, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “I am delighted that we organised the first tribal sports meet in the country. I am looking forward to our tribal boys and girls earning medals in the Olympics."

Patnaik also gave away the trophies to the winning teams in different sporting events.

As many as 1,800 boys and girls from across 30 districts of the State participated in various events like athletics, archery, football, hockey, kabaddi, kho-kho and volleyball during the three-day meet which were simultaneously held at Kalinga Stadium and KIIT Stadium in Bhubaneswar and Satyabrata Stadium and Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack.

Sambalpur won the football tournament while Khurda lifted the trophy in hockey in boys’ category.

The winners of 1,500m run were Basanta Pujari of Koraput and Hira Majhi of Sambalpur in senior boys’ and girls’ category respectively.

Malkangiri girls team emerged champion in Volley ball tournament while Kandhamal bagged the winner's trophy in girls’ kabaddi.

"My team was a little bit scared when we saw that we have to play the game on the mat and with sports shoes. However, we overcame our fear and emerged victorious today," said an excited Anjali Pradhan, a player of Kandhamal Kabaddi team.

Various tribal dancers like Ghumura dancers of Kalahandi and Durua dance group of Koraput enthralled the guests and spectators at the closing ceremony in Cuttack.

Sports and Youth Services Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, State ST and SC Minister Ramesh Majhi, Sports and Youth Services Department secretary Vishal Kumar Dev, Director Vineel Krishna, Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasish Samantaray, Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab also attended the closing ceremony.

The Tribal Sports Meet was launched on December 18 last year. Competitions were held at various blocks and districts across the State till January this year. The State level competitions of all team events were organised at Balasore, Baripada, Bhawanipatna, Cuttack, Keonjhar, Koraput and Rourkela from February 6 to 12 before the final events in the Twin City in last three days of the meet.

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