KIUG: Bikram Changmai among 7 Assam athletes to represent universities of other states
Bikram Changmai

Guwahati: Promising swimmer Bikram Changmai and six other medal prospects from the state are set to represent their respective universities of other states at the upcoming 3rd edition of the Khelo India University Games that will be held across various locations in Uttar Pradesh.

Chiangmai had won a couple of silver medals for Assam at the National Games in Gujarat last year, and more importantly, fell narrowly short of Olympian Sajan Prakash (of Kerala) in the men’s 200m event. He also finished second on the podium in the men’s 100m Butterfly event in Rajkot.

Besides Changmai, two more female swimmers from the state — Uttara Gogoi and Riniki Bordoloi — will represent Delhi University at the Khelo India University Games.

In weightlifting too, Assam girls Barnali Bora and Swapnapriya Barua will be in action at the KIUG but will be donning the colours of Yegi Vemana the University of Tamil Nadu. Shuttler Diya Bora, a trainee at the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) Gwalior, is also among the overall 11 Assamese athletes, who will be seen in action at the Games. In women’s table tennis, Assam paddler Akankshya Bhuyan will represent Chandigarh University at the Games.

Apart from the seven, four other athletes, representing two universities of the state will be in action at the Khelo India University Games. Shooter Hriday Hazarika, who recently returned with a silver medal in men’s 10m Air Rifle from the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan will look to better the colour of his medal at the University Games.

Hriday, a student at the Cotton University in Guwahati, has been in superb form of late, and will therefore be expected to make a podium finish. Aiming for a place in India’s squad for the Hangzhou Asian Games, the 22-year-old has restarted his training after a short breather and will look to gun for the title and keep himself in shape for the quadrennial Games in the Chinese city later this year.

Hriday Hazarika

Besides Hriday, another student of the same university, Anyatam Rajkumar, will be hoping to bring a medal back to the state from the men’s rowing event at the KIUG.

Archers Production Borgoyary and Samaina Basumatary, representing Bodoland University, complete the state’s minuscule squad for the Games.

The 10-day multi-sport event will be held in Lucknow, Varanasi, Greater Noida and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. The shooting events, however, will be organised at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, near New Delhi. The third edition of the Khelo India University Games will feature around 4,000 athletes from around 200 universities across the country. All athletes will be in the under-27 category and would vie for medals in 21 sports.

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Panjab University was the inaugural KIUG winner in 2020, while Jain University is the defending champions, having won the last edition in 2021 held in Bengaluru.

The Khelo India University Games 2023 will run from May 25 to June 3, though the first sporting event (Kabaddi) will begin on May 23.

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