Bengaluru: Over 4,000 athletes from 200 universities will compete for top honours in 20 disciplines in the second edition of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) 2021 which is set to kick off here on Saturday.
A total of 257 gold medals will be up for grabs in Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Fencing, Football, Field Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Table tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling, and Karate. Indigenous sports Mallakhamb and Yogasana have been added as special attractions this year.
KIUG 2021 will take place across five venues in Bengaluru – Jain Global University campus (11 disciplines, including Yogasana), Jain Sports School (Badminton, Tennis, Football, and Table Tennis), Kanteerava Stadium Complex (Basketball and Athletics), Field Marshal Cariappa Hockey Stadium, and Sports Authority of India (SAI) National Centre of Excellence (Shooting).
Renowned India swimmer Srihari Nataraj, who will represent host Jain University, sprinter Dutee Chand from KIIT University, badminton star Sai Pratheek also of host university, archer Tanisha Verma, tennis ace Lohithaksha Bathrinath are among the notable athletes participating in KIUG 2021.
The shooting duo of Divyansh Singh Panwar and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, and TOPS development athletes Jeswin Aldrin (Long Jump), Yashveer (Javelin Throw), Sandra Babu (Long Jump), Ancy Sojan (Long Jump), Aman (Wrestling), Madhu Vedwan (Recurve Archery), Unnati (Judo), Vinka and Sachin Siwach (Boxing), Maisnam Meiraba and Shikha Gautam (Badminton) and Oinam Jubraj (Fencing) will also be in the limelight.
“I am very happy that the KIUG 2021 is taking place in Karnataka, my home ground. It is great that new events have been added this time around, especially indigenous sports which we do not see in major leagues. I am pretty excited to follow these events closely. I am confident SAI, the Government of Karnataka, and my University will ensure to make this Khelo India Games better than the inaugural edition,” Srihari Nataraj said.
Reflecting her excitement, Dutee Chand said, “Khelo India University Games could not take place in 2021 due to Covid. But I am really happy that KIUG is returning this year to Jain University. A lot of young athletes from Universities around the country will be competing this year. It will help developing athletes go on to make India proud on the bigger stages.”
On April 23, hosts Jain University will begin their campaign in basketball against SRM University at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, while Mallakhamb men’s and women’s in pole, rope, and hanging will begin at Jain University Global Campus along with volleyball matches at their sprawling indoor arena. Badminton events will commence at the Jain Sports School while in shooting, the 10m air rifle men, 25m pistol for women, and trap shooting events will begin at the Sports Authority of India.