The Khelo India University Games (KIUG) was outlined to be an annual event when the first edition took place in early 2020 in Odisha. But, the Covid-19 pandemic created havoc and the second edition could not be hosted the following year but is now finally set to take place in Bengaluru. Though the opening ceremony of the KIUG is scheduled for Sunday, some of the disciplines will begin a day earlier in different parts of the city.
Volleyball, badminton, mallakhamb, shooting and basketball are scheduled to kick off the second edition of the KIUG on Saturday. If the first three events are going to take place at the Jain University Global Campus and the Sports School, shooting and basketball will be held at Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru and Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium respectively. Other major events like swimming and athletics are scheduled to start from April 25 and 30, respectively.
Top athletes like Dutee Chand (athletics), Srihari Nataraj (swimming), Divyansh Singh Panwar and Aishwary Pratap Singh (both shooting) Tomar Jeswin Aldrin (long jump) among others will feature.
Eleven volleyball matches are scheduled on Saturday while it is going to be a busy day at SAI where the trap event for both men and women along with 10m air rifle and 25m pistol are going to take shape. Of the 20 events in the KIUG, 16 of them will be held at the Jain University, which is the official host of the Games. Overall, athletes will fight it out for the 257 gold medals in the offing.
The university is going to be abuzz with a large contingent of athletes and officials also residing in the campus. Many participants have already reached the city and the numbers are going to surge more as their respective events inch closer. Also, when it comes to such Games, where more than 4500 athletes are going to compete, volunteers play an important role and they have also gradually checked in.
"Since some of the events are starting from tomorrow (Saturday) itself, many athletes and officials have already arrived at the venues. Some of the children (athletes) have also started their respective practice as well at the Jain University and the Jain School campus," said Shankar UV, Director of Sports, Jain University. "Many volunteers are going to move in. Right now, I am managing around 150-200, and some more volunteers are going to move in today evening."
Shankar also explained with Jain hosting the majority of the disciplines, the last few days have been quite hectic, keeping things in check. But the director is confident of the state being a great host and expects to leave a positive mark. "The preparations are quite hectic. We have to understand that a lot of clearances happen at the last moment as there are multiple agencies doing the work. Handling and bringing them all together and running it is not an easy task," he said.