The Khelo India University Games witnessed a remarkable feat on Wednesday as both the gold and silver medallists in the men’s 55kg weightlifting broke the existing national records.
Shivaji University’s Sanket Mahadev Sargar lifted 138 kgs in the clean and jerk to win gold, breaking the previous national record by 3kgs in the process.
“I have never lifted this weight before and I’m really happy that I broke the national record. I had prepared really well to break the national record here,” said Sanket.
Runner-up Prashant Suresh Koli of the Kavayitri Bahinabai Chaudhari North Maharashtra University meanwhile lifted 110 kgs in the snatch lift, also a new national record.
Twin sisters make swimming headlines
Swimming at the Khelo India University Games threw up another interesting storyline as twin sisters Jyoti Patil and Aarti Patil won gold and bronze respectively in the 50m women’s breaststroke for the University of Mumbai.
If that was not enough, the duo also won bronze in the 4x200m women’s freestyle team relay. They started swimming at the age of just one and were introduced to the sport by their father, Bajirao Patil, a former swimmer himself.
Christ University’s Riddhi Bohra, who took up swimming after a skating injury in her childhood, separated the twins on the podium. “This is my first medal in almost three years, having competed earlier with some or the other injury,” she said.
Interestingly, her brother Kalp Bohra was a medallist at the Khelo India Youth Games last month.
Swimmers propel Savitribhai Phule Pune University to the top
Swimmer Sadhvi Dhuri clinched golds in the 200m women’s freestyle and 100m women’s butterfly while Mihir Ambre did so in the 100m men’s butterfly to take the Savitribai Phule Pune University to the top of the Khelo India University Games medals table.
Panjab University’s swimmer Siddhant Sejwal won gold in the 200m men’s freestyle to keep his side hot on the heels of Savitribai Phule Pune University at the Khelo India University Games.
The university from Pune has 17 medals, two less on aggregate than the second-placed Panjab University but lead courtesy their nine gold medals to the latter’s seven.
University of Rajasthan archers upset favourites
The archery events were almost called off due to rain but officials and volunteers scrambled to get the area ready and were treated to two upsets in both the men’s and women’s events.
The men’s compound event saw Mukul Sharma from the University of Rajasthan defeat his close friend and title favourite, Sangampreet Bisla of Punjabi University in the final to bag gold.
Sangampreet Bisla, a World Youth Championship medallist and ranked top for the Khelo India University Games, helped his university win gold in the men’s team compound though to even the scores.
The Punjabi University went on to win golds in the women’s team compound and mixed team compound events as well but none of their archers could garner an individual gold.
Kritika Sharma from the University of Rajasthan eclipsed Mukul Sharma in the women’s compound event as she upset World Youth Championship medallist Raginee Markoo of the Rani Durgawati Vishwavidyalaya in the final to win gold.
Syrian footballer looks to relaunch his career
Young Syrian footballer, Ahmed Habbab may have looked to football as the answer to all the troubles back home but he could not risk becoming one in his home country. However, a scholarship for a Bachelor of Technology degree at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) has given him a new lease of life.
“The thing in Syria is that you cannot make a living as a professional footballer,” the 20-year-old told the Indian Express. “The stadiums have been damaged quite a bit back home, so the only way to even train is to go abroad and find a club to accept you. That’s what I hope to get from here.”
Ahmed Habbab, who survived for close to 10 days without food as the incessant shelling continued in Syria, is inspired by the Syrian football team’s close loss to Australia in the World Cup qualifiers two years ago.
He is looking to impress in the Khelo India University Games and hopefully forge a career for himself in the nation through the Indian Super League while also harbouring dreams of playing for the Syrian national team one day.
Dutee Chand to headline athletics
Star Indian sprinter and Olympian, Dutee Chand will begin her campaign for KIIT at the Khelo India University Games when athletics gets underway on February 28. The runner is warming up for a bid to contest her second-consecutive Olympics.
Though Dutee Chand is ranked high enough for an automatic berth at Olympics 2020, her best 100m (11.22 seconds, a national record) is still marginally short of the Olympics 2020 qualification mark of 11.15 seconds.
“I may make the grade on the strength of my world ranking but I really want to make it to the Olympic Games by achieving the qualification standard,” Dutee Chand told the Press Trust of India.