On Sunday, the first medals of the Khelo India University Games were handed out following a lavish opening ceremony at Bengaluru's Kanteerava Stadium. There were eight medals up for grabs in three disciplines; with five in men's and women's weightlifting, ensuring heavy movement in the points table.
Kaviyatri Bahinabai Chaudhari North Maharashtra University capitalised on their opportunity, winning gold and silver medals in men's events to vault to the top of the medal table. After Uday Anil Mahajan won silver in the 55kg weight class, Mahajan Govinda Sunil won gold in the 61kg weight class.
Although their medals reached later that afternoon, Maharshi Dayanand University's Komal Kohar started the medal rush by easily defeating her competitors in the women's 45kg weightlifting event.
Kohar, a gold medalist at the Khelo India Youth Games 2020 and a silver medalist in the first University Games, not only improved her medal colour but also set a new KIUG record. In the event, the 20-year-old from Sonepat lifted a total of 160kg (snatch 70kg, clean and jerk 90kg).
At the shooting range, Paarth Makhija, a Khelo India scholar from Delhi University, won a tense men's 10m air rifle qualification with 628.6 points. However, Maddineni Mahesh of KL University beat Makhija 16-10 in the finals. Gajanan Khandagle of Savitribhai Phule University won a bronze medal.
In the aftermath, Mahesh cited the scholarship as just the motivation he needed to strike gold. "This is a really important achievement for me because my college really needed this win," he said. "I was entitled to a scholarship for winning the gold medal, so I worked hard towards this and I am happy to get it today."
As part of the Delhi University squad, Makhija made amends by winning gold in the team event. Savitribai Phule University was defeated by the trio of Shivansh Saini, Samarvir 628.4, and Makhija, who shot a total of 1875.3 points.
This was the first day of boxing, with 48 matches scheduled throughout the day in various weight classes. The highlight of the day came early in the day, when Kurukshetra University's Vinka defeated Desh Bhagat University's Shaheen Gill in the 57-60kg class.
Vinka, a Khelo India scholar and TOPS athlete, won gold in the 60kg category at the 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships. On Sunday, the first medals for mallakhamb, which is making its KIUG debut this year, were also presented. The University of Mumbai defeated Savitribai Phule University by 0.12 points in an intense men's team game. Bundelkhand University was awarded bronze.
The swimming competitions begin on Monday, with all eyes on the star attraction. Srihari Nataraj is an Olympian. Late in the day, he'll compete in the 50m freestyle. Rujuta Khade of Shivaji University will compete in the women's 50m freestyle.