The much awaited 18th Asian Games began on Saturday at Jakarta in Indonesia with colourful display of cultural heritage and a message for world peace. Manipuri sports lovers took the platform of social media to pour the wishes to perform even better than the last games. Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra led the Indian contingent as the flag bearer with players arriving in blue suits with flags in their hands.
Also read: Naorem Boynao wins gold medal at the world martial arts games 2015, Bangkok
Among the Indian contingent, at least 65 Manipuri sports persons are selected to represent the nation. While 64 sports persons hail from Manipur, woman fencer Thoudam Kabita who hails from Lakhimpur of Assam is another Manipuri to represent the country. Maximum of the Manipuri players were selected to compete in Canoe / Kayak Sprint, Sepak Takraw , Football and Wushu. The players were selected to compete in fourteen disciplines in individual as well as team events. However, there was a major setback for the Indian weightlifting team as world champion Saikhom Mirabai was pulled out of the games. Her name is still in the list though.
In another big shock to the sports lovers, it was reported that Indian Olympic Association had dropped Indian football team from the contingent. Several football fans across the country expressed their strong reactions and outrage on social media against the decision.
Also read: Naorem Roshibina strikes gold, India wins 10 medals in Asian Junior Wushu Championships 2017
High hopes are on boxer Shamjetsabam Sarjubala who is believed to repeat the feat of defending champion Mary Kom. Also believed to win a medal is Naorem Boynao who has done exceedingly well in different martial arts. He has won several medals in asian and world championships of different martial arts – Muay Thai, Kuo Shu Kung Fu and Pencak Silat.
Also read: Maibam Chingkheinganba makes India proud, wins gold and silver medals in Asian Youth Championships 2015
In wushu, expectations are high as India is fielding players who have done remarkably well in world and asian championships in both sanshou and taolu events. Many achievements were made in the last years by winning medals for the first time. Yumnam Sanathoi who won a bronze medal in women’s sanda / sanshou event will compete to change the colour of the medal. Young sensational sanshou fighter Naorem Roshibina who had earlier won a silver medal in girl’s 48kg in the 6th World Junior Wushu Championships 2016 and gold medal for India at the 9th Asian Junior Wushu Championships 2017 will fight in the games too.
Events — Sport Climbing and Pencak Silat are included for the first time in the games and Chingkheinganba Maibam and Naorem Boynao will compete in the games respectively.
Also read: Shamjetsabam Sarjubala wins gold medal in 22nd President’s Cup Open International Boxing Tournament 2015
The complete list of Manipuri sports persons available in the official website https://en.asiangames2018.id as on 19.08.2018 in the Indian squad for the 18th Asian Games 2018 is shown below:
Sport Climbing: Chingkheinganba Maibam (men’s)
Cycling Track: Athokpam Bike Singh (men’s)
Elangbam Chaoba Devi, Mayanglambam Sonali Chanu, Tongbram Manorama Devi (women’s)
Diving: Kongbrailatpam Ramananda Sharma (men’s)
Pencak Silat: Huidrom Bishan Meetei, Naorem Boynao Singh, Thounaojam Johnson Meitei (men’s);
Ahongsangbam Sarjubala (women’s)
Fencing: Thoudam Kabita Devi (women’s)
Football: Kumam Udanta Singh, Salam Ranjan Singh (men’s);
Elangbam Panthoi Chanu, Grace Dangmei, Irom Prameshwori Devi, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, Ngangbam Sweety Devi, Ngangom Bala Devi, Nongmaithem Ratanbala Devi, Okram Roshini Devi, Thokchom Umapati Devi, Yumlembam Premi Devi, Yumnam Kamala Devi (women’s)
Triathlon: Kshetrimayum Minachandra Singh, Saikhom Bishworjit (men’s)
Boxing: Shamjetsabam Sarjubala Devi (women’s)
Hockey: Kangujam Chinglensana Singh (men’s)
Sepak Takraw: Gurumayum Jiteshwar Sharma, Khangembam Niken Singh, Ngathem Jotin Singh, Sorokhaibam Malemnganba Singh, Thokchom Seitaram Singh, Wahengbam Henary Singh, Waikhom Sanjeck Singh, Yumnam Akash Singh (men);
Pangambam Linthoingambi Chanu, Ayekpam Maipak Devi, Elangbam Ronita Devi, Mutum Aruna Devi, Oinam Chaoba Devi, Yanglem Nganthoi Chanu (women’s)
Weightlifting: Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (women’s)
Judo: Thoudam Kalpana Devi (women’s)
Canoe / Kayak Sprint: Arambam Chingching Singh, Laitonjam Naocha Singh, Heisnam Nganba Meitei, Moirangthem Kiran Singh, Oinam Jamesboy Singh, Salam Sunil Singh (men’s);
Konjengbam Sarju Devi, Laishram Meena Devi, Mayanglambam Inaocha Devi, Oinam Yaiphabi Devi, Phairembam Soniya Devi, Phairembam Thajamanbi Chanu, Shoibam Sushila Chanu, Toijam Dimita Devi, Yumnam Shamashakhi Devi (women’s)
Wushu: Mayanglambam Gyandash Singh, Mayanglambam Punshiva Meitei, Mayanglambam Suraj Singh (men’s);
Leimapokpam Sanatombi Chanu, Naorem Roshibina Devi, Yumnam Sanathoi Devi (women’s)
Also read: Saikhom Mirabai Chanu becomes world champion, wins the first gold for India in world weightlifting championships after two decades
It may be mentioned that in the last 17th Asian Games held in Incheon, out of the 517 members of the Indian contingent, 57 players from Manipur represented India.
Mary Kom won gold medal in women’s boxing while Khadangbam Kothajit and Kangujam Chinglensana were the gold medallists of men’s hockey in which India beat Pakistan 4-2 in the final via exciting penalty shootout .
Thokchom Chanchan and Pukhrambam Sushila won bronze medals in women’s hockey while Yumnam Sanathoi won bronze medal in women’s wushu sanda. Laishram Sarita also won bronze medal in women’s boxing.