Weightlifter Govind Sunil Mahajan won gold and Uday Anil Mahajan won silver to help Kaviyatri Bahinabai Chaudhuri North Maharashtra University top the medal table at the end of action on the opening day of the Khelo India University Games here on Sunday.
Govind won the gold medal in the 61kg weight class and Uday bagged silver in the 55kg class in men’s weightlifting, helping their university soar to the top of the table.
While their medals arrived later in the afternoon, Maharshi Dayanand University’s Komal Kohar kickstarted the rush, outclassing her rivals with ease to win gold in the women’s weightlifting 45kg class.
Kohar, a gold medallist at the Khelo India Youth Games 2020 and a silver medallist at the first edition of the University Games, bettered not just her medal colour but also set a new KIUG record in the process. The 20-year-old from Sonepat lifted a combined 160kg (snatch 70kg, clean and jerk 90kg) in the event.
Over at the shooting range, a tense qualification round saw Delhi University’s Paarth Makhija, a Khelo India scholar, top the list, with 628.6 points. In the finals though, Makhija was outshot by K.L University’s Maddineni Mahesh 16-10. Savitribhai Phule University’s Gajanan Khandagle took the bronze.
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.”
Mahesh also credited the Khelo India platform for doing much for the athletes and encouraging more participation and boosting development. “The sponsorship under the Khelo India Scheme is a much-needed requirement for the development of athletes, and it motivates us to do our best.”
Makhija made amends in the team event to win gold as part of the Delhi University team. The trio of Shivansh Saini, Samarvir 628.4 and Makhija shot a total of 1875.3 points to beat Savitribai Phule University for gold.
It was also the first day for boxing with 48 bouts scheduled throughout the day across different weight categories. The highlight bout was early in the day, as Kurukshetra University’s Vinka outclassed Desh Bhagat University’s Shaheen Gill to win her opener in the 57-60kg class.
Vinka, a Khelo India scholar and a TOPS athlete, won gold at the 2021 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in the 60kg category.
The first medals were awarded for the debuting Mallakhamb on Sunday. The University of Mumbai won an exciting competition by a margin of 0.12 points, beating Savitribai Phule University into second place. Bundelkhand University won bronze.
The swimming events start on Monday and all eyes will be on the hosts’ star attraction, Olympian Srihari Nataraj. Srihari will be in action in the 50m freestyle late in the day. Shivaji University’s Rujuta Khade will also be in action in the 50m freestyle for women.