Shillong: Cycling made its debut at the 4th Meghalaya Games 2022 in the picturesque setting of Malki Forest on Wednesday.

The paths were steep and slightly slippery with the rain of recent days. All this made it extremely challenging for the athletes but the course has been crafted to keep things interesting and test the riders, who had to push themselves and their machines to the limit.

The Meghalaya Cycling Association has been one of the most active new sports bodies in the state and has taken up the responsibility of popularising the sport and advocating for the interests of cyclists in general.

Wednesday’s events were for junior boys and women’s cross country along with downhill hardtail, which means bicycles without rear suspension. More exciting cycling action will be witnessed on Thursday. 

Below Malki Forest, one could witness the swimming events at Crinoline Swimming Pool. The morning was blessed with wonderful warm sunshine and three finals were concluded, with Alyzza M Lyngdoh of East Khasi Hills storming to victory in the women’s 100m freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 29.35 seconds, nearly half a minute ahead of the silver medallist.

Khrawkupar Lyngdoh of South West Khasi Hills took first place in the men’s 200m breaststroke (3:20.87) and he won the men’s 200m freestyle final as well (2:48.41). 

In athletics, several results in javelin were declared with Bonabenshor Syiemlieh bagging the gold for West Khasi Hills in the U-16 boys’ event with a throw of 40.32 metres. East Garo Hills claimed both silver and bronze, through Nokkim Momin and Salchira R Sangma, respectively. 

It was a Garo Hills final in the U-18 girls’ javelin, with North Garo Hills taking gold and silver through Senitha G Momin (24.57m) and Silanchi M Sangma, respectively, while Walrimchi R Marak bagged the bronze for South Garo Hills. 

In the women’s 10,000 m, Kyntimon Marwein of South West Khasi Hills took gold with a time of 41 minutes, 59.64 seconds. She beat Darishisha Iangjuh (East Khasi Hills) and Bandasharai Marwein (SWKH). 

The corresponding men’s event was won by Hepstarli Lyngkhoi (SWKH) in 33:06.62, ahead of Kresstarjune Pathaw (WKH) and Belin Dkhar (West Jaintia Hills). 

In weightlifting, which also made its debut at the Games, seven gold medals were handed out – Ibanrihun Maring (55kg women), Ibalaiohkhamtilut Nawsaw (64kg women), Banteilang Marwein (55kg men), Maxcarelius Ryndongsngi (61kg men), Anas Ryndongsngi (67kg men), Edilbert Ryndongsngi (90kg men) and Donald Rymbai (110kg men).

In tennis, rain meant some unavoidable disruption on the clay court surface at Shillong Club, though the game was able to resume in the evening under lights. 

In the U-16 boys’ quarterfinals, Harsh Singhania beat Amit Ram in a tiebreaker 9-8, while Enrick Suchiang defeat Ryan Kharkongor 9-0. Ishan Rawat and Rakshit Bajaj won via walkovers. In the men’s singles, Sanjeev Chettri beat Enrick Suchiang 9-2, Macdonald Thabah won 9-4 against Feniedee Rymmai, and Joplut Kharbuli won 9-6 over Wankhraw W Nongrum. 

In basketball, West Khasi Hills will meet East Khasi Hills in the women’s final at 3pm Thursday at the NEIGRIHMS Indoor Stadium, while Ri-Bhoi will take on EKH in the men’s title match at 4:30pm. 

Ri-Bhoi knocked out 2020 champions West Khasi Hills in the first men’s semifinal 53-33. EKH men then defeated West Jaintia Hills 71-45, while, earlier, the EKH women were 70-12 victors over WJH women. The other women’s semifinal saw defending champions WKH beat Ri-Bhoi by 63 points to 22. 

Finally, in football, EKH blazed past South West Garo Hills 8-0 in their women’s quarterfinal at Mawlai Madan Heh. WKH defeated Ri-Bhoi 2-0 and West Garo Hills pipped Eastern West Khasi Hills 1-0. 

In the men’s competition, at SAI, Ri-Bhoi registered a 5-1 win over SWKH, while WJH defeated East Garo Hills 3-0. East Jaintia Hills then required a penalty shootout (5-4) to beat North Garo Hills after full time ended 1-1. 

Other events that began today were karate and table tennis at the SAI Indoor Training Centre. It was also announced that multiple World Cup, Asian Championships and World Championships archer, Atanu Das, will be present for the final day of the archery events at SAI tomorrow. 

Also read: Meghalaya CM Sangma bats for Khasi, Garo languages in 8th Schedule

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