New Delhi, February 12: Ever since Mirabai Chanu clinched gold at the World Championships in 2017, India has got a genuine chance of clinching a medal in weightlifting at the Olympics this year.
However, there are more weightlifters rising in the country through the Khelo India Youth Games and other competitions at the national level. After successfully hosting three editions of the Khelo India Youth Games, the Indian government has decided to conduct the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) in Odisha from February 22 to March 1, 2020. The upcoming weightlifters in India are looking at KIUG as a big platform to showcase their skills.
"The Khelo India University Games is a national tournament so it's a big tournament for us. The university has provided us with a travel allowance for the tournament. I am looking forward to taking part in another Khelo India competition. It should be another good experience for us," said Veerjeet Kaur (from Punjab University, Chandigarh), who won gold at the Khelo India Youth Games (49kg category) in Guwahati this year.
Komal Kohar, who will be taking part in KIUG for Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, expressed that the competition will be a big boost for the university students.
"This tournament will be a big platform for the upcoming athletes in India to showcase their talent. It's fantastic to see the way the Indian government has tried to improve the sporting culture in our country. The Khelo India University Games will be certainly a big boost for university students. They have a chance to show their skillset and attain recognition," said the 17-year-old.
Mayuri Devare, who clinched silver at the Khelo India Youth Games this year, is very excited to participate in another Khelo India competition.
"I started weightlifting in my school under the guidance of my coach. I won silver in the Khelo India Youth Games in the 81kg category this year. I will be taking part in the same category at the Khelo India University Games. My preparations are going on very well. I am quite excited to take part in the tournament. Hopefully, I have a great one," said Devare, who will represent Shivaji University (Kolhapur) in the competition.