LAHORE - Lahore clinched the overall trophy of the 71st Punjab Games, securing 3459 points after winning another 14 events contested on the final day on Saturday. Faisalabad, who were posing a severe challenge to Lahore, secured the second place with 2170 points and were followed by Gujranwala at number three position with 1533 points.
Multan and Sahiwal got fourth and fifth positions, respectively with 757 and 741 points. Lahore claimed 89 gold medals for the top position, along with 39 silver and 10 bronze medals. Punjab Governor Latif Khosa was the chief guest of the closing ceremony and prize distribution ceremony and handed the main trophy to Lahore Division head of contingent.
Speaking on the occasion, the Punjab Governor praised the organisers for holding such an activity, which was mandatory for the development of the youth. He said that his government has always supported healthy activities and would keep supporting sports events. "It is necessary for a healthy society that such events are organised more frequently and the organisers will always find the government on their side," he added.
Lahore claimed first place in cycling, boxing, baseball, swimming, weightlifting, athletics, wushu, badminton, table tennis, taekwondo, basketball, canoeing, gymnastics and rowing, came second in football and handball and third in hockey. On the other hand, Faisalabad won the handball and football events. Gujranwala were the winner of wrestling title, while Sargodha claimed the hockey crown.
Organising Secretary Idris Haider Khawaja said that despite several hurdles, the target of organising the games was achieved. "The Punjab Olympics Association is doing its best to promote and uplift the standard of sports at all levels," he added. He also thanked the Punjab government, the officials and athletes for making the Games a success.
Holders Faisalabad staged a recovery to beat Lahore 2-1 in the football final at the Raiders FC Ground on Saturday morning. It was the second consecutive win for Faisalabad in the event. They also defeated Lahore in the final at Model Town Football Academy Ground four years ago. The three goals of the final were recoded in the first half, while second session remained goal-less. Faisalabad conceded a 28th minute goal when Lahore striker Fahad Tariq punished a keeper's blunder, but drew level through a penalty kick in the 35th minute, converted by midfielder Basit Naeem.
Five minutes from interval, winger Atif Hussain steered the winner from close range. Earlier, Sahiwal outplayed Multan 4-3 on penalties to win the bronze medals. The final was supervised by Afzal Bari, supported by Irfan Aslam, Mehr Shabbir and 4th Official Muhammad Anwar. Earlier in semi-finals, Lahore beat Multan 4-2 and Faisalabad overran Sahiwal 2-1. The Punjab Olympic Association organised the Games with nine teams participating in the event, including Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sargodha.