Written by Alifiya Nalwala
Athletes from the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) have put up a spectacular show and emerged as the frontrunners at the inaugural Khelo India University Games, currently underway in Bhubaneswar. With 29 medals under its belt — including 15 Gold, eight Silver and six Bronze — SPPU on Friday consolidated its grip on top of the tally.
“This is the first platform where our students are competing and proving their mettle against athletes and teams from other universities. We are extremely proud of their performance. We can say we are the best university in the country in terms of performance in sports,” said Deepak Mane, director, Board of Sports and Physical Education, SPPU.
Stating that the university has had a good run right from the beginning, Mane said he was confident of adding at least three more Gold to the rally before the end of the Games on March 1. Among the most successful athletes was swimmer Sadhvi Dhuri, who has won five Gold and a Silver, thereby getting the nickname ‘Golden Girl’. Swimmer Mihir Ambre also won two Gold medals for the university.
Wrestling and weightlifting competitions also saw good performances, with Mahesh Datta Asawale and Prajakta Ravindra Khalkar winning a Gold each in weightlifting while Jyotiba Bajrang Atkale bagging the yellow metal in wrestling.
Snehal Khaware won the Gold in 52-kg Judo competition. “Not only have we been able to showcase the talent of our students to the rest of the country through this competition, but it has also given us reason for introspections and to find a way forward. What we have observed here is that individual games are our strongest point while we seem to be lagging in team events. We need to take measures to improve our performance there,” said Mane.
Meanwhile, Aarya Rajguru won a Gold in 50m butterfly stroke swimming event, while Sakshi Mhaske came on top in the final of 45kg weightlifting event.
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