Khelo India University Games Ashtalakshmi (Wresting) begins in Kohima

Wrestlers in action at Khelo India University Games Ashtalakshmi (Wresting) in Kohima on February 23. (Morung Photo)

Wrestlers in action at Khelo India University Games Ashtalakshmi (Wresting) in Kohima on February 23. (Morung Photo)

Our Correspondent
Kohima | February 23

The wrestling event of Khelo India University Games Ashtalakshmi commenced today at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima.
Gracing the commencement programme as the special guest, Nagaland’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio told the 240 athletes from almost a hundred Universities to give their best and remember to compete with all fairness.

Nagaland’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and others with medallists at Khelo India University Games Ashtalakshmi (Wresting) in Kohima on February 23. (Morung Photo)

Rio informed that Khelo India University Games were first organized in 2020 in Odisha after the resounding success of Khelo India School Games and Khelo India Youth Games in the preceding years by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India.

Today, University Games under the Khelo India Scheme of the Government of India has risen to the highest standards with participation from over 200 Universities annually.

Naga Girls Battalion NCC Band performs National Anthem at Khelo India University Games Ashtalakshmi (Wresting) in Kohima on February 23. (Morung Photo)

The Khelo India Games are organized with the objectives to create aspirational values amongst budding players in the country, benchmark technical conduct with International standards) create a platform for talent Identification, ensure long term athlete development and reduce dropouts, and finally to promote sporting culture, the Chief Minister said.

Rio said that the purpose of Khelo India University Games is also to create a strong interlinked system of education and sports and to promote University level sports and make it a breeding ground for Champion stand finally to give a boost to sports infrastructure and strengthen the sports ecosystem in the Universities.

Rio expressed gratefulness to Central Government under the leadership of Narendra Modi for giving Nagaland the opportunity to be a co-host for the 4th Edition of the Khelo India University Games in the discipline of wrestling.

“Though our state still lacks many critical infrastructures, we have tried our best with our limited resources to be a good host,” he said.

One of the spectators with mascot of Khelo India University Games Ashtalakshmi (Wresting) in Kohima on February 23. (Morung Photo)

Rio on Naga style wrestling
Rio told the participants that Nagas love wrestling, though the form of wrestling that is practiced amongst our Naga people is more akin to the Belt Wrestling than Freestyle or the Greco-Roman styles.

“Our people have been playing wrestling as a form of entertainment, for settling disputes and even create relationships. We do not use the word “opponent” in wrestling, but we call our opponent as  “Khrietho-u” or “Friend,” Rio said.

Rio was hopeful that holding of the KIUG wrestling in Nagaland state will be a step towards promotion of these styles of wrestling also in the state.

Nagaland to host NE Olympics from March 18
He said that Nagaland is known as the “Land of Festivals’ and this year incidentally marks the 25th Anniversary’ of the International Hornbill Festival.

The year has begun with the Nagaland Olympics and now the Khelo India University Games.

He said that Nagaland will be hosting the North East Olympics` from March 18, he said.

Rio welcomed all guests including officials to Nagaland and hoped that their stay “is comfortable, fruitful and a memorable one.”

‘Participate in a spirit of true sportsmanship’
Nagaland’s Youth Resources & Sports advisor S. Keoshu Yimkhiung hoped that all athletes will participate in a spirit of true sportsmanship with mutual respect towards each other.

He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving privilege to the state to host this event.

The advisor also stated that it was also because of the sincere and serious efforts given by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for the infrastructure development initiatives especially in the field of sports “for which our state could host today’s event as a co-host.”
Earlier, Youth Resources & Sports director Kethosituo Sekhose chaired the inaugural function.

1 Naga Girls Battalion NCC Band performed National Anthem.

Organised by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports with Government of Nagaland and Nagaland University, this Khelo India University Games will continue till February 26.

•    Women’s wrestling- Seniors (50 kg): 1st- Hanny Kumari (PU); 2nd- Anju (LPU); 3rd- Savita Malik (PUP)
•    Freestyle Senior (57 kg): 1st- Amol Baburao Bongarde (SU); 2nd- Shravan Kaushal (DAV); 3rd- Satish (CBLU)
•    Freestyle Seniors (97 kg): 1st- Parveen Kumar (LPU); 2nd- Sumit (CU); 3rd- Abhishek Nagar (CKU) 
•    Creco Roman-Seniors (82 Kg): 1st- Ankit (CRSU); 2nd- Satish Deshwal (SLBSRSU); 3rd- Ankitboora (CU)
•    Freestyle seniors (70 kg): 1st- Mahesh Kumar M Langoti (RCU); 2nd- Pramod Kumar (RTMNU); 3rd- Vishal (CU) 
•    Freestyle Seniors (79 kg): 1st- Sachin Mor (CU); 2nd- Suraj (KUK); 3rd- Akash (UOM)   
•    Greco- Roman Seniors (60 kg): 1st- Mohit Narwal; 2nd- Udit Patel (MPU); 3rd- Kapil Dalal (NIILMU)
•    Greco- Roman Seniors (67 kg): 1st- Satpal Singh (PDDUSU); 2nd- Navdeep Malik (UOT); 3rd- Rahul (GKU)
•    Greco- Roman Seniors (77 kg): 1st- Ravi Kumar (CU); 2nd- Amrinder Singh (GNDU); 3rd- Pradeep Mann (LNIPE)
•    Women’s Wrestling Seniors (55 kg): 1st- Nikki (PDDUSU); 2nd-  Ashlesha Kalyan Trimbak (PAHSU); 3rd- Swati (GKU)