Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India], April 28 (ANI): Huge upsets were witnessed on the opening day of the archery competition at the Khelo India University Games 2021 here on Thursday. The day also brought to a close the boxing and swimming competitions, as the focus slowly shifts to the athletics due to start on Saturday. Forty different universities have already logged a gold and 89 are in the medals table.
Thursday marked the final day of swimming. Jain University dominated the pool winning 14 gold across the competition. The host university’s Siva Sridhar was the undoubted star, having won seven gold and two silver in the pool. His haul is more than that of the previous edition’s most successful athletes (Siddhant Sejwal and Sadhvi Dhuri – five gold each).
A deluge of upsets was served at the archery competition which kicked off at the Jain Global campus today. First to fall was Muskan Kirar of Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya in the compound women’s singles. Kirar had topped the qualification round, but failed to get going in the day, falling to the last place qualifier, Sneh Rani of Guru Nanak Dev University 135-139. Rani was knocked out in the very next round by Punjabi University’s Sujata.
Last year’s silver medallist Raginee Markoo progressed through the competition steadily only to fall in the semi-finals. Kirar’s teammate Markoo lost to Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University’s Madhura Dhamangaonkar 140-146.
The upsets rolled on in the men’s compound too. Punjabi University’s Kulwinder Singh and Sangampreet Bisla had finished first and second in the men’s compound qualification yesterday. Just like in the women’s though, the top seed, Kulwinder fell at the very first knockout round, losing to Shivaji University’s Kunal Shinde 143-141. Bisla made it through the first round but fell to Guru Nanak Dev University’s Hritik Sharma via shoot-off in the very next round. Both archers had shot 144, and 9 in the shoot-off. Hritik won on the basis of his arrow being closer to the centre.
Hritik said he was using the Khelo India University Games experience as a launchpad for his season. “I’ll go to the Jr Nationals after this so it was crucial I put up a good show here,” he said. “No matter the opponent, this sport is about your own mental strength, your performance. And you have to look inward. Today was the same. I made some mistakes, which I need to work on.” Hritik was beaten in the semis by Delhi University’s Tanishdeep Singh.
Twenty-five boxing medals (12 women, 13 men) were decided today, concluding an exciting event. In the women’s competition, 26 different universities won a medal, with eleven different universities winning gold in the 12 weight categories — Ch. Ranbir Singh University is the only one winning two gold, in the 48-50kg and 60-63kg weight categories. Five of these eleven are from Haryana. The men’s event was no different, with 11 universities dividing up the 13 categories (Lovely Professional University won three golds).
Olympians MM Somaya, Anil Aldrin, Sandeep Somesh and Ravi Nayakar were present at the boxing venue in the Jain Global Campus, for the medal ceremonies. Somaya, a gold medallist in hockey from Moscow in 1980 commended the infrastructure at the venue. “I watched boxing, archery, swimming and Judo. I was there at the hockey venue in the morning. I am quite happy to see the level of competition at the Khelo India University Games,” he said. (ANI)