UT will be represented by a strong contingent of 130 athletes in the fourth edition of the Khelo India Youth Games, which are set to kick off at various venues in Chandigarh and Panchkula from June 4.
The team will compete in 14 different sports including hockey, kabaddi, handball, basketball and individual events like archery, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, judo, cycling, gymnastics and boxing.
Chandigarh players have also qualified for the two new demo events, gatka and malkhamb, the latter being a team event. Football and athletics teams. meanwhile, failed to qualify for the mega-event.
At the last edition of Khelo India Youth Games, held in Guwahati, Chandigarh ranked 16th with 17 medals including six gold, an improvement from the first edition in New Delhi where the team n only won two gold medals.
Speaking ahead of the event, wrestling coach Darshan Lal is confident the contingent will improve their medal tally from the previous edition.
“All 12 wrestling entries are medal contenders this time around. We have two international wrestlers participating this time. Anjali, the only girl in wrestling, wins medals at the sub-junior and junior national championships. Our camp started on May 7 at Manimajra Sports Complex and the players are eager to go,” he said.
Chandigarh hockey team will enter the tournament after winning a silver medal at the Hockey India Junior National Championship held in Tamil Nadu. Needless to say, they will be aiming for a podium.
Speaking about the weightlifters’ chances, coach Karanvir Singh Bhutta said, “All three players are in contention for a medal while I have high hopes of Paramvir Singh who won gold at the national sub-junior championship.” Paramvir will compete in the +102 kg weightlifting category. Khelo India will host most of the events at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, with some matches taking place in Ambala, Shahbad, Delhi and Chandigarh.