The Kerala government and the National Games Organising Committee have received a huge pat on their backs. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has termed Kerala 2015 the best Games ever.
"For us (IOA), athletes are of prime importance and not a single athlete or official has even raised one complaint. This can otherwise be termed as a 'Kerala Model' and other States can use this model as this has been the best ever Games held," IOA president N. Ramachandran said in Trivandrum on Saturday.
President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee congratulated the State for the successful conduct of the 35th National Games.
“Congratulations to the organisers for the efficient conduct of the Games in which more than 10,000 athletes competed in 33 events,” the President tweeted shortly before the closing ceremony of the Games here on Saturday.
Kerala bid farewell to the participants of the 35th National Games at the Greenfield stadium, Kariyavattom on Saturday evening with a memorable closing ceremony that was a brilliant cultural show conceived around the theme of national integration.
The ceremony, which lasted just over three hours, did not draw a full house as on the opening day, yet was remarkable for throwing up a dance spectacle based on India’s eternal rivers.
Despite a second-place finish behind Services in gold medal count overall, Kerala finished with its best-ever performance at a National Games as competitions of the 35th edition of the event concluded on Friday.
The home team, second to Services in the final medals tally, had a haul of 54 gold, 48 silver, and 60 bronze medals, compared to Services’ 91-33-35, as it improved on its previous best tally of 52 gold, 34 silver, 22 bronze when it finished second to Manipur in Imphal in 1999.
Tamil Nadu men thrashed Kerala in the men’s volleyball final at the V.K. Krishna Menon Indoor stadium in Kozhikode. Kerala men, who escaped from jail in the semi final against Services, was devastated by the attack of Tamil Nadu led by Ukkarapandian. Tamil Nadu men won the last three sets after losing the first set to Kerala for 24-26, 25-20, 25-23 and 25-12.
Kerala women clinched gold beating Karnataka 25-19, 23-25, 26-24 & 25-12. This is the third consecutive gold for Kerala women's volleyball team in the National Games.
A total of 34 medals was the home team’s final count from track and field, out of which 13 were gold. This was well ahead of Services’ 20 inclusive of 9 gold, and Haryana’s 14 with 4 gold.
The final day at the University stadium in Trivandrum on Friday was another fruitful day for Kerala as Olympian Tintu Luka, the favourite in the women’s 800m, did not let down the packed house as she led from the front and took the gold medal in 2:01.86 bettering the old meet mark of 2:03.08 set by K.C. Rosakutty in 1997.
Governor P. Sathasivam will be the chief guest at the Closing ceremony at the Kariavattom Greenfield Stadium on Saturday.
Public entry will be purely on first-come first served basis for the valedictory function, which will start at 6 in the evening and go on for just over three hours. About 25,000 seats are kept aside for the public. Admission to the stadium begins at 4 pm and will be free.