University of Kota and Chaudhary Bansi Lal University's (CBLU) men's teams served up a treat in the final of the men's kabaddi competitions, with the former concluding a grand spectacle at the Khelo India University Games 2021 with a 52-37 win over the latter.
The opening game of the day was the women's final contested by Kurukshetra University and Maharshi Dayanand University. Kurukshetra's dominance right from the start saw them run out easy winners.
The real highlight was reserved for later — the men's final — with Mr Anurag Thakur, the Minister for Sports, Youth Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, in attendance. In addition, Pro Kabaddi League players Pawan Sehrawat, Ajay Thakur and Naveen Kumar were in attendance too. Enthralled by the high-quality contest, the Minister requested that the Pro Kabaddi League consider including players from the two finalists into the draft for the ninth season.
"I was sitting with some of these superstars from the league, and I asked them how much difference there was between them and the boys playing here," Mr Thakur said. "They said that some of these players could definitely be part of the teams in the league.
"Having heard that, I hope the organisers of the league will consider including the players in the draft for the next season. It will be a game-changing moment for Indian sport," Mr Thakur said.
The final itself was tightly fought, with the University of Kota and CBLU not giving each other an inch to spare. The two teams were separated by a maximum of two points, till halfway through the second half, when the University of Kota forced an all-out, to race into a lead, one they consolidated to triumph by 15 points and grab gold, — their first of the games.
"I think we were all a bit nervous in the first half," Kota's captain Ashish said. "The atmosphere, the lights, the sound, and the occasion threw us off. In the second half though, our coach told us to concentrate on the game itself, and well, the result soon arrived."
Men's Final: University Of Kota beat Chaudhary Bansi Lal University 52-37
Bronze medal: Dr CV Raman University, Guru Nanak Dev University.