Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the first-ever Khelo India University Games at Cuttack in Odisha this evening. With this inauguration, India joined the league of nations where University Games are organized. As many as 3,400 athletes from 159 universities across the country will vie for top honours across 17 disciplines, including rugby which is among the six-team events.
Launching the multi-disciplinary sporting event through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said it marks the next step in the country's sporting revolution. He said This was not only a historic moment in Indian sports but also a big step for the future of Indian sports. Mr. Modi recalled that in just three years of the start of Khelo India Games, participation has doubled and talents from villages and tier 2 and 3 cities are getting exposure and making the country proud. He said that Khelo India University Games will help us in improving our performance in sports.
Present on the occasion, among others, were Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Dharmendra Pradhan, who holds the petroleum and natural gas portfolio in the union cabinet.. Chief Minister of Odisha, Navin Patnaik thanked the Prime Minister for giving this opportunity to the state.
Ace sprinter Dutee Chand, who is a student of KIIT, the host university, was also a part of the event. Besides Dutee, there are other talented athletes like Mangalore University's triple jumper Jay Shah, his team-mate long-distance runner Narendra Pratap Singh, Pune University's long-distance runner Komal Jagadale and Acharya Nagarjuna University's sprinter Yarraji Jyothi, who can lift the quality of the competition in track and field sport. (AIR)