The second edition of the Khelo India Youth Games recently concluded with the organizers hoping to turn the event into a multi-sporting event across different age groups. Young Indian athletes and sportspersons at the grassroots level are in dire need for platforms to shine and showcase their sporting skills and talent.
The host of the Khelo India Youth Games, Maharashtra, finished on top with 228 medals which include 85 gold medals, ended the last day of the event adding 6 more medals to its overall medal tally, and added 2 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals, finishing as the leader on the medal tally. Haryana ranked second on the medal tally with 178 medals and Delhi came in third with 136 medals.
On the last day of the event, Maharashtra bagged two gold medals in archery, winning both the Under-17 girls recurve and Under-21 compound events, with Sakshi Shitole and Isha Pawar bagging gold medals in their respective events. Haryana too added a gold and silver medal in the archery event, with Sachin Gupta winning the Gold in Under-17 recurve event and Paras Hooda winning Silver in Under-21 recurve event.
The Khelo India Youth Games ended with the Tamil Nadu defeating Kerala in Under-21 girls’ volleyball finals with the girls overcoming a 2-set deficit and winning 23-25, 11-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-9. The Kerala Under-21 boys volleyball team returned the favor by defeating Tamil Nadu 21-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-20.
Maharashtra won most of its medals in swimming, gymnastics athletics, and boxing winning 42, 39, 33 and 23 medals respectively. Whereas, Haryana won most of its medals in wrestling and boxing, winning 58 and 51 medals respectively. Haryana also won 3 of the 4 gold medals in hockey.
So far, the National Games was the only multi-sporting event offering much-needed exposure to Indian athletes and sportspersons. In a statement released by the Mr. Sandeep Pradhan, the CEO of the Khelo India Youth Games, the event is poised to serve as an important platform for grassroots level athletes and sportspersons across different age-groups.
The Khelo India Youth Games is an excellent platform for the Under-17 athletes and sportspersons for identifying talent and developing State and National teams. With the success of the 2nd edition of the Khelo India Youth Games, the organizers hope to inspire more young athletes and sportspersons to aspire to participate in the event and reduce the dropout rate of athletes and sportspersons in the Under-21 division, and more athletes and sportspersons reach senior teams within their respective sporting discipline.
According to the Human Resource Development Minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar, the event underlined the ‘5-minutes more’ idea Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The HRD Minister further added that the Government is determined in introducing a mandatory daily sports period for one-hour in each and every school across the nation.