India sprinter Hima Das will help get the third annual Khelo India Youth Games underway in Guwahati.
The World U20 400m champion has been chosen to be the torchbearer at the opening ceremony for the multisport event that will start on Friday.
Close to 7,000 athletes from the 28 States and nine Union Territories in India will be participating in the event.
Objective, inception and expansion
The Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) aims at promoting mass participation and the identification of talented athletes at a young age.
Each discipline in the event has its own committee, which is tasked with selecting two of the best athletes. The selected athletes will then be provided financial assistance of ₹5,00,000 per annum and nurtured for international competition for eight years.
“Khelo India has been incredible at unearthing young talents who can be groomed to bring laurels for the country and its mission has been to introduce state-of-the-art facilities to athletes from the grassroots level,” affirmed Indian sports minister Kiren Rijiju.
“I hope this unique partnership will further strengthen our commitment towards giving the best possible facilities to our athletes,” he added.
The inaugural edition in 2018 was called the Khelo India School Games (KISG) and was held in Delhi. The eligibility for the KISG was limited to school kids from the age of 10 to 18 years, but the event has since expanded its scope and has been split into two categories - under-17 school and under-21 college students.
What sports are included in Khelo India Youth Games?
The Khelo India Youth Games has not only expanded its participation scope but has also added new disciplines for the upcoming edition.
The 2018 edition had 16 disciplines, namely: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Swimming, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.
The 2020 edition of the games will have 20 disciplines with cycling, lawn bowls, table tennis and tennis added to the mix.
The format and past winners
The Khelo India Youth Games is an inter-state competition. India’s 28 states and eight union territories compete as teams at the event.
Haryana and Maharashtra have dominated the first two editions of the KIYG.
Haryana finished as champions in 2018 with 38 gold medals, two more than Maharashtra. The two swapped places in 2019 with Maharashtra hauling in 85 gold medals, 23 more than Haryana’s tally.
Delhi finished third in each of the first two editions.
Khelo India Youth Games schedule and where to watch
Here are dates for each event at the Khelo India Youth Games:
Archery: 10th January - 13th January
Athletics: 11th January - 14th January
Badminton: 18th January - 21st January
Basketball: 16th January - 20th January
Boxing: 16th January - 22nd January
Cycling: 12th January - 16th January
Football U-17 Boys: 12th January - 21st January
Football U-17 Girls: 13th January to 22nd January
Football U-21 Boys: 13th January to 22nd January
Football U-21 Girls: 13th January to 22nd January
Gymnastics: 9th January - 14th January
Hockey: 13th January - 21st January
Judo: 10th January - 14th January
Kabaddi: 9th January - 13th January
Kho-Kho: 15th January - 19th January
Lawn Bowls: 12th January - 21st January
Shooting: 11th January - 18th January
Swimming: 17th January - 22nd January
Table Tennis: 10th January - 14th January
Tennis: 17th January - 22nd January
Volleyball: 9th January - 15th January
Weightlifting: 16th January - 22nd January
Wrestling: 16th January - 19th January
The Khelo India Youth Games 2020 will be broadcasted live on Star Sports and streamed on Hotstar from January 10th at 9:30 am.