Sarupathar: Anticipation ran high in the house of Nayanmoni Saikia where her family and friends had gathered to watch her performance in the Lawn Bowls final at the Commonwealth Games 2022 on Tuesday evening.

At one point, the Indian contingent of four, of which Saikia was part, was trailing 8-10 after 11 ends of throws. But with just four throws remaining, they managed to finish the game at 17-10.

“Jikilu!” People in Sarupathar shouted and cheered as the women’s team of four won gold medal at the CWG 2022 in the Lawn Bowls Final. Just like how Aditi Ashok had roused India to watch her play golf in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2022, the same excitement gripped sports lovers on Tuesday when the Indian quartet of Lovely Choubey (lead), Pinki (second), Nayanmoni Saikia (third) and Rupa Rani Trike, won 17-10 in the finals against South Africa. The gold in Lawn Bowls has earned praises for four women throughout the nation.

For Saikia, the win was even more special as the constable in the 2nd Assam Forest Protection Force Battalion, Siloni, Nagaon is now up for a promotion.

“She will soon become an Assistant Commandant, a rank equivalent to that of DySP as per our state’s policy as she has won the gold medal,” Rajesh Singh, Superintendent of Police of the newly-formed Tamulpur district in BTR Assam, said.

Talking to this correspondent, Nayanmoni’s husband Bhaskar Jyoti Gohain, said, “Her hard work and determination for the nation paid off with the gold medal. I am extremely happy. We spoke a while back on video call. She misses her father-in-law who passed away recently. However, she was very happy to see her little daughter celebrating her victory with the people who assembled at our house to watch the game,” he added.

“I thank the people of Assam and in particular, Sarupathar for supporting Nayanmoni in her sports journey. She is very passionate about her sports, so our family extended all possible support to her. We are proud of her. She has been a determined and disciplined athlete since 2008 when she took up sports as her career and after marriage, she got more support from her late father-in-law than me,” her husband Bhaskar said.

Nayanmoni Saikia

An Evening of Support And Jubilations

Deputy Commissioner Golaghat, Mrigesh Narayan Baruah, Sub Divisional Officer and Member of the Legislative Assembly, Biswajit Phukan, and members of the Golaghat District Sports Association assembled at Nayanmoni’s residence in Sarupathar on Tuesday evening to watch the game live. Hundreds of sports lovers were also at her house since the afternoon to watch the mother of one perform. Post the event, MLA Phukan told reporters that the Sarupathar constituency is going to be Assam’s sports powerhouse with this CWG Gold medal after Lovlina Borgohain’s Olympic bronze medal in boxing.

“The daughter of Barpathar, daughter-in-law of Sarupathar, and mother of a girl child, Nayanmoni has made the nation proud on an international platform. Sarupathar is proud of her and she will inspire our daughters to chase their dreams even after marriage and having kids,” Phukan said, adding, “Husbands of sportswomen should be like Bhaskar Jyoti Gohain who support their spouses.”

Deputy Commissioner Baruah expressed happiness and told reporters that it was a matter of pride for Golaghat. “It adds another feather to our cap as Nayanmoni gave us another reason to celebrate. So lots of congratulations to her and the family who supported her. The administration will arrange a grand welcome for the golden girl on her arrival and organise a community reception and public felicitation.”

PM Narendra Modi also congratulated the gold medal-winning team and tweeted, “Historic win in Birmingham! India is proud of Lovely Choubey, Pinki Singh, Nayanmoni Saikia and Rupa Rani Tirkey for bringing home the gold in Lawn Bowls. The team has demonstrated great dexterity and their success will motivate many Indians towards Lawn Bowls.”

Nayan Moni Saikia was born in Golaghat in Assam in a middle-class family. Her father is a farmer, and mother is a homemaker. She has been passionate about sports since her childhood. She began her career in sports through weightlifting in 2008. But due to a leg injury, her performance kept deteriorating. Later she chose to play lawn bowls as this sport was the game without injuries. With time, lawn bowls became her passion, and she became the key player in the national team.

Also read | Lawn Bowls: Indian women ensure historic first CWG medal in ‘fours’ format

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