From January 10 to 22, Guwahati was the venue for Khelo India 2020. 447 Gold medals were distributed among rising stars of the nation in 20 games. In the first edition, 216 Golds were distributed in 16 sports. This time, youth competed in under-17 and under-21 categories.
The order in the medal table remained the same. This year, Maharashtra crossed 250 medal barriers. They clinched 258 medals. 78-77-101 was the order from gold to bronze. Haryana finished at the runners up position with exact 200 (68-60-72) medals. They displayed an improvement of 22 medals from Pune 2019. Delhi, like the previous two meets, finished 3rd. With the drop of 14 total medals, they received 122 (39-36-47) medals.
All the four Kho kho Golds went to the powerhouse of the game, Maharashtra. In Archery, Haryana lifted 7medals. It was nice to see tough competition among states in Athletics, Badminton, volleyball, and basketball. Haryana maintained supremacy in Boxing. They annexed 47 medals including 15 golds out of 38 on offer. Maharashtra, Andaman & Nicobar and Manipur were dominant states in Cycling. 2 Football golds went to surprisingly to Haryana. Maharashtra and UP distributed 18 gold in Gymnastics. Gujarat, Manipur, and Delhi fought tooth and nail in Judo. All 4 golds of Kabaddi went to Haryana. In Lawn Ball, host Assam claimed 7 out of 10 golds. Haryana bagged 8 out of 19 golds in Shooting. Karnataka and Maharashtra were the top two states in swimming. Maharashtra showed an edge in Table Tennis. In Weightlifting, Maharashtra annexed 25 medals. It included 11 golds.
This year, Bhavesh Mor of Delhi improved his previous bronze to Gold in 52kg boys boxing. S Kalaivani edged out eye problems and won girls 48 kg boxing gold on debut. Mizoram beat Assam in gold medal match of U-17 boys football.
Badminton results displayed that the game is growing in every nook and corner. KM Singh and K Dingku Singh (named after legendary boxer Dingko Singh) surprised all with their run. The pair from Manipur lost in the summit clash of under-21 boys doubles. Amit Rathore (MP) won under-21 singles. Mir Tasnim Irfan Ali (Gujrat) and Sakshi Phogat (Rajasthan) were under-21 and under-17 girls champions. Kavya and Khushi (both Gupta) were crowned winners of under-21 girls doubles. The pair of girls from Kerala were the best in under -17.
In Hockey, all the summit clashes went to the penalty shootouts. UP beat Haryana in boys under-21 final. Haryana defeats Jharkhand in girls of the same. In under-17, Chandigarh edged out UP for boys crown. Haryana beat Jharkhand in the girl’s division.
In basketball, Punjab and Kerala were winners in under-21 boys and girls finals. Rajasthan beat Delhi and Tamil Nadu beat Rajasthan in boys and girls under-17 gold medal matches.
In swimming, Shivangi Sarma claimed 4 golds for hosts in the under-21 girl’s category. Soubrity Monda and Swadesh Mondol cornered attention for WB in under-21 events. Srihari Nataraj hogged the limelight in boys under-17. Suvana Bhasker, Aneesh Gowda helped Karnataka to retain domination. Apeksha Fernandes & Kenisha Gupta in girls, Vedant Bapna in boys (all under-17), and 19-year-old Mihir Ambre of Pune (boys under-21) lifted Maharashtra’s status. Anurag Singh (under-21) and Bikram Changmai (under-17) improved Delhi’s showing in the pool.
Yashwant Laveti of AP equaled the meet record in boys under-21 110 m hurdles for gold. Abhin Devaduga (Karnataka) emerged victorious in the 200-meter under-21 boy’s race. Arvind Sharma of Delhi and Kiran of Rajasthan claimed boys and girls under-17 discus golds respectively. Pavithra (under-21 girls, pole vault), S Saran (under-21 boys, long jump) and Pradeep Senthil (under-17 boys, 800 meters) bought gold to the TN team. Preeti of Delhi claimed gold for Delhi in the under-21 400 meters hurdles event. Ancy Sojan of Kerala was the fastest girl in the under-21 category, with a timing of 12.21 seconds. With the best jump of 6.36 meters, she claimed another gold from the long jump. Kunal Kaushik (Haryana) was the gold medalist in the shot put boys U-17. M Karunya and Hema Malini bought double delight to TN as they claimed gold in under-21 javelin throw in boys and girls category. AB Gurav (U-21 boys high jump) and Poorva Hitesh Sawant (U-17 girls triple jump) bagged gold for Maharashtra. Ajeet Kumar Yadav of Gujarat defended his 5000-meter under-21 boy’s title successfully. Ankita of Uttarakhand won the same in girls category. MP made a clean sweep in the under-17 javelin throw in the boy’s category. Haryana achieved the same feat in 400-meter boys U-21.
S Lokchand lifted the maximum weight for the under-21 gold in the 89 kg weightlifting crown. He is following the steps of his national champion father, E Srikanth. Big names like Akash, B Dhiraj and World cadet champion Komalika Bari were surprise losers in archery. All medals for Daman and Diu came from the boxing ring. Harsh and Amit lost gold medal bouts. Ronak added bronze to the tally of tiny UT.
6800 athletes competed in India’s biggest grass-root sports program. It got good media attention. Nurturing talent for the future is the key. As per the ministry, 1000 athletes will get an annual scholarship of 5 lakh rupees each for 8 years to shape their careers.
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