Impressive ceremony that closes the Games of the University of Khelo India, the championship of the University of Panjab dramatically

BHUBANESWAR: The Khelo University India Games 2020 concluded on Sunday with an impressive closing ceremony, but not before Panjab University pipped Savitribai Phule Pune University with a final effort to be crowned champions of the inaugural edition.

Losing only one gold on the penultimate day, Panjab snatched the last two golds in boxing to overthrow the University of Pune, which could only handle one athletic gold on the last day.

The two dominant universities ended with 17 gold medals each. But Panjab University , with a total tally of 46 medals (19 silver, 10 bronze) as against Pune's 37 (11 silver, 9 bronze), walked away with the coveted trophy.

The second finalist trophy went to Punjabi University , Patiala with a total of 33 medals (13G, 6S, 14B).

Attended by a multitude of dignitaries, led by the prime minister of Odisha Ship in Patnaik , Minister of Sports of the Union Kiren Rijiju & Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra, the closing ceremony celebrated the athletes & their triumphant universities.

"The first edition of the KIUG has been truly successful. All the participants have given their best & many of them have shown great potential," Rijiju said.

"Our aim now is to organise the Khelo University India Games regularly & make it, along with the Youth Games, the platform that paves the way for our future Olympic medallists. Our aim is to get into the top 10 in the medals tally after the 2028 Olympics," he added.

Patnaik also expressed satisfaction with the way his state organized the Games.

I am extremely happy that KIUG 2020 has been organized so smoothly. I am sure it will help young athletes reach great heights for the country, he said.

Host university KIIT's founder Achyuta Samanta thanked everybody involved in making the Games a success & pointed out that they had less than two months to put everything in place & pull it off.

Earlier in the day, steeplechaser Komal Jagadale set a new All India Universities record with a time of 10:26.63 to give Savitribai Phule Pune University a two-gold medal lead.

But then, Sawan Gill secured a walkover from Anik Verma in the 91kg final while Sagar won the +91kg gold, when Suryaveer Sehrawat (Chaudhary Charan Singh University) abandoned the bout after the opening round, to garner the bragging rights for Panjab University .

In other exciting events, KIIT's Dutee Chand He completed a double sprint while Guru Nanak Dev University surpassed Kurukshetra University 33-31 in a tense male Kabaddi final. Amritsar's team took into account the 16-21 deficit that stared at the break.

By winning the heptathlon bronze medal behind Sonu Kumari (Lovely Professional University) & Sarmistha Halder (University of Calcutta), Akshatha of Karnataka State Law University ensured that a student of law would add to the diverse nature of medallists.

With three gold medals, the medical student Damini Gowda led the health universities on the podium.

Up to 64 universities claimed at least one gold, while 113 institutions went home with at least one medal after 10 days of competition.

Swimmers Sadhvi Dhuri ( Savitribai Phule Pune University ) & Siddhant Sejwal ( Panjab University ) were the most successful athletes at the Games with five gold each.