India sprinter, Dutee Chand will be the biggest name to feature in the inaugural edition of the Khelo India University Games, a nation-wide talent hunt that was launched after the resounding success of the Khelo India Youth Games, which recently completed its third edition.
The Khelo India University Games gets underway at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) campus on Saturday with more than 4,000 athletes from 176 universities from across the nation participating.
National record-holder in the 100m, Dutee Chand will be representing KIIT as she prepares for the 2020 Olympics qualification.
Initiative to strengthen the university system
The Khelo India University Games has been initiated with the intention of identifying capable athletes at the university level and begin a streamlined structure for developing them.
“All the nations in the world which have gone on to become sporting powerhouses have invested heavily in their University structure. It is the first time that such a professionally organized championship is happening at the university level,” said Kiren Rijiju, the minister of state for youth affairs and sports.
The initiative is a natural progression for athletes after the Khelo India Youth Games, and a government-supported system will ensure, they are in the running for future Olympic berths.
What sports are included in the Khelo India University Games 2020?
The inaugural edition of the Khelo India University Games will witness participants compete across 17 different sports.
The 2020 edition will have Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Fencing, Football, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Rugby, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
Most of the disciplines are the same as those seen in the Khelo India Youth Games, with fencing and rugby added to the mix while gymnastics, kho-kho, shooting, cycling and lawn bowls have been excluded.
Schedule and fixtures for Khelo India University Games 2020
Here are dates for each of the events at the Khelo India University Games:
Archery: 22nd February – 26th February
Athletics: 28th February – 1st March
Badminton: 23rd February – 26th February
Basketball: 21st February – 24th February
Boxing: 25th February - 1st March
Fencing: 21st February - 24th February
Football: 21st February – 1st March
Hockey: 22nd February - 28th February
Judo: 27th February – 29th February
Kabaddi: 26th February – 1st March
Rugby: 26th February – 28th February
Swimming: 23rd February - 26th February
Table Tennis: 27th February – 1st March
Tennis: 22nd February – 28th February
Volleyball: 21st February – 24th February
Weightlifting: 26th February – 29th February
Wrestling: 27th February – 1st March
Where you can watch Khelo India University Games 2020
The Khelo India University Games 2020 will be broadcast on Star Sports First, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi and DD Sports. It will also be streamed live on Hotstar from February 22nd at 10 A.M.