Varanasi, June 3 (IANS) A sober and sombre ceremony brought the curtains down on the 3rd Khelo Indian University Games (KIUG) 2022 Uttar Pradesh at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus in India’s spiritual capital Varanasi.
Panjab University, Chandigarh (PUC), regained their overall champions crown after a gap of one edition. PUC finished with an overall tally of 69 medals including 26 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze medals. Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar amassed 24 gold, 27 silver and 17 bronze medals to finish second and in the top three for the very first time. Jain University, Karnataka, last time’s champions, were third with 16 gold, 10 silver and six bronze medals.
What was initially supposed to be a spectacular ceremony with a drone show and various cultural performances, was brought down to a simple ceremony in view of the rail accident tragedy in Odisha. The authorities decided to organise the closing ceremony to honour and motivate the participating athletes and universities.
Chief Minister, UP, Yogi Adityanath, who was the Chief Guest, also led the state in remembering the victims of the rail accident tragedy in Odisha, on the occasion. Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and Information and Broadcasting was also present and also mourned the victims in his address. Two minutes of silence was observed by all to pay their respects to all those who lost their lives in the tragedy yesterday. The event started with Ganesh Vandana followed by a Yogasana performance.
The KIUG 2022 UP, the third edition of India’s biggest multi-sport event at the higher education level, saw over 4000 athletes from over 200 Universities compete in 21 sporting disciplines over 12 competition days.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Yogi Adityanath said, “I would like to pay my respect to all those who have lost their loved ones in yesterday’s rail accident in Balasore, Odisha. In the past two weeks, we had the honour to host more than 4000 athletes from all over India who showed some excellent sportsmanship.
“In our country, sports is reaching new heights under the vision of PM Narendra Modi. We have won more medals in the past 9 years than ever and the improvement in sports infrastructure is something to be proud of,” he said.
“We had big concerns over organising games due to summer here but the excellent organisation team and players made this the most successful games ever and I would like to extend my gratitude to them. We wanted to conclude the tournament in a spectacular manner in PM’s constituency but due to the unfortunate incident in Odisha, we decided to not go ahead with the same.”
Anurag Thakur, in his address, said, “At the outset, I would like to pay my respect to all those who lost lives in the unfortunate rail accident yesterday. I would like to say that Uttar Pradesh has delivered the best Khelo India University Games so far. Sports and sportspersons are being given a lot of importance in the state. Under the able leadership of PM Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, UP has ensured the successful organisation of the KIUGUP2022.
“I would like to extend my congratulations and gratitude to the entire team of UP Government and all the host universities. No stones were left unturned for the comfort of our athletes by the UP government and I would like to extend my thanks to the UP Government on behalf of the Government of India. Furthermore, a modern facility is being built in Sigra, Varanasi which will soon be handed over to all the athletes. We will soon make India a sports superpower.”
Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports and Home Affairs, Girish Chandra Yadav, Sports Minister, Uttar Pradesh, Sanjay Nishad, Minister Fisheries, Uttar Pradesh, DS Mishra, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, Dept. of Sports, Uttar Pradesh, Sandip Pradhan, DG, Sports Authority of India and Viraj Sagar Das, President, BBD Group among others.