CHENNAI: Song, dance and music marked the closing of the 6th Khelo India Youth Games 2023 here on Wednesday. The valedictory function began in a grand manner with artists showcasing dance forms of various states — Bharatanatyam, Odissi and Kathakali. The Games was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where about 5500 athletes from 36 states and Union Territories took part.
The event was held across four cities in Tamil Nadu — Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy. Hosts bagged the second place with 98 medals, Maharashtra secured the top spot with 158 and Haryana came third.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, who was the chief guest at the closing ceremony, lauded the athletes for their perseverance. “In the past ten days, not only Chennai but the entire nation witnessed history unfolding. The resilience, and determination exhibited by each athlete have filled us with an overwhelming sense of pride and optimism for the future of sports in our great nation. This edition of the Games holds a unique significance as it marks the first occasion the games have been hosted in the southern state,’’ said Thakur.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Government of Tamil Nadu for organizing such a remarkable, successful event and ensuring seamless coordination. PM in his speech at the opening ceremony envisioned that India will become the next sporting superpower in the world. And every passing day is a testament to this transformation.’’ added Thakur.
Udhayanidhi Stalin, TN Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development was pleased with the way Khelo Games was organised and complimented all the athletes who participated and in particular the medal winners for making the Games a success.
“The success of KIYG reaffirms Tamil Nadu’s commitment to sports and its capability to successfully organize and execute grand events of national and international significance. Over the past 13 days, our state has been proud to host over 5400 plus athletes from across the country showcasing their sporting skills and various disciplines. This is the first time Tamil Nadu figures on top three in the medals tally in KIYG's history,’’ Udhayanidhi said.