BENGALURU: The participation of Tokyo Olympians Srihari Nataraj (swimming) and Manu Bhaker (shooting) in the upcoming Khelo India University Games in Bengaluru, starting April 24, will add sheen to the multi-sports event. Also, top athletes like Dutee Chand (athletics) and Madhu Vedwan (archery) will feature in the competition. Most of the disciplines are going to be held at the Jain University facility in the city.
Besides the 275 gold medals on offer, athletes from 189 universities will also view the Games as an opportunity to qualify for the World University Games, scheduled in Chengdu (China) from June 26. However, it is interesting to note that with the rise in Covid-19 cases in China, some of the countries, including Britain and New Zealand have already pulled out.
“KIUG is also going to serve as the qualifiers for the World University Games. As of today, we have the information that the World (University) Games is taking shape in China. We have to go through the process. Most of the kids from different universities across the country are surely going to compete here in the Games. This KIUG will have some good quality competition in all sports,” said Shankar UV, Director of Sports, Jain University.
However, Karnataka government’s ambitious project to make the second edition of KIUG as Green Games has hit a stumbling block. “There were plans to give no plastic bottles to athletes, but we are having some teething issues as the NADA guys want fresh bottled water. The discussions are still on regarding this. We may have to provide plastic bottled water to the athletes when they are asked to go for a dope test,” added Shankar, who also showed the visiting journalists some sporting facilities in the campus on Tuesday.
The Jain University, including the Sports School, will host 16 of the 20 events. Weightlifting and wrestling will be played at Sprintoor while the Colloseum will host judo, kabaddi and volleyball.