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Sridhar shines at Khelo India University Games

The Swimmers made a splash, the shooters made their mark and the rugby players struck gold at the third edition of the ongoing Khelo India University Games (KIUG) in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.

File image(Khelo India)

Young swimmers Vikkas Prabhakar and Siva Sridhar excelled at Greater Noida’s Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik (SVSP) indoor stadium, bagging gold medals. India international shooter Hriday Hazarika hogged the limelight at the Karni Singh Shooting Range in Delhi, winning the men’s 10m air rifle event for Cotton University of Assam.

In swimming, SRM University’s Vikkas won the men’s 50m freestyle dash with a timing of 23.47. There was a dead heat for the silver as both Veer Khatkar of Maharshi Dayanand University and Shailesh Shwejal of Savitribai Phule Pune University, MS came in second with 24.02 secs.

Earlier in the day, Aneesh Gowda of Christ University (deemed) bagged the first gold of the Games with a win in the men’s 400m freestyle in swimming. He also won a bronze later in the day. However, the pool clearly belonged to Siva Sridhar of Jain University on the day, as he nailed a couple of gold medals with wins in the men’s 200m medley and the men’s 100m backstroke.

Fresh from winning a World Cup silver for India at Baku just over a week back, Hazarika outshot Guru Kashi University’s Arjun Babuta 252.5 to 250.8 in the final for Assam’s Cotton University. His India teammate Ashi Chouksey won the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions gold for Guru Nanak Dev University with a score of 461.6, whereas as her India teammate Sift Kaur Samra won the silver with a score of 457.7.

Rugby seven featured as an optional sport to let youngsters of the state feel the pulse of the game even though hosts Uttar Pradesh did not field a side.

Nevertheless, good support for rugby was witnessed when women of Kalinga Institute of Information Technology of Bhubaneswar stepped onto Lucknow’s Guru Gobind Singh Sports College’s ground on Friday. They outclassed the University of Mumbai 56-0 to pocket the gold medal.

Nirmalya led the lines admirably for the women from Odisha with three tries (15 points) to her name. The men’s final, on the other hand, was a close affair. In the end, Pune’s Bharatiya Vidyapeeth overcame KIIT, Bhubaneshwar 19-10 to clinch the crown. While Bharat’s two tries for Pune were crucial, KIIT’s Jugal also matched him with two tries of his own.

Now, the state can hope to conduct the junior nationals later this year.

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