Sunday, June 23, 2024

Indian men, women bag 4th Asian Kho Kho titles

The Indian men’s team after clinching the title at the 4th Asian Kho Kho championship that concluded in Assam’s Tamulpur on March 23.

The Indian men’s team after clinching the title at the 4th Asian Kho Kho championship that concluded in Assam’s Tamulpur on March 23.
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 The Indian men’s and women’s teams clinched the titles at the 4th Asian Kho Kho Championships that concluded at Tamulpur in north-central Assam’s Baksa district on Thursday. 

Tamulpur is in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and about 75 km north of Guwahati. 

In the finals, the Indian men defeated Nepal by 6 points and an inning while the Indian women outwitted their Nepal opponents by 33 points and an inning. 

In the semi-finals earlier in the day, the Indian men overcame the Sri Lankan challenge by 45 points. Nepal defeated Bangladesh by 12 points with 1.5 minutes to spare in the other semi-final. 

In the women’s semi-final, India beat Bangladesh by 49 points and an inning. In the second semi-final, Nepal coasted to victory over Sri Lank by 59 points and an inning. 

“Being an Indian, it feels great to win the game which was initiated in India. At the same time, it is equally exciting to witness the participating countries doing so well in the matches,” Team India captain Akshay Bhangre said after lifting the trophy. 

He also thanked the crowd at Tamulpur for supporting the teams throughout the tournament.  “It was a great atmosphere here. The support of the crowd can motivate the players to give their best,” Mr. Bhangre said. 

In both men’s and women’s categories, the third place was shared by Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 

The victorious Indian women’s team.

The victorious Indian women’s team.
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Altogether, 16 teams (both male and female) participated in this event. The participating countries were Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea and Sri Lanka besides host India. 

The event was organised by the Kho Kho Federation of India and was hosted by the Assam Kho Kho Association with support from the BTR government. The government of Assam also backed the competition. 

About 500 players and officials participated in the event. The matches were held on mats and a makeshift indoor stadium with a capacity to accommodate about 7,000 people was set up at the venue – the Tamulpur Higher Secondary School ground. 

This was the first instance of the Asian event having been organised at a semi-rural venue unlike the first three in urban areas – Kolkata, Dhaka and Indore.

Ranjana Sarania of Tamulpur who represented the Indian women’s team in the tournament was felicitated during the closing ceremony.  BTR chief Pramod Boro announced ₹10 lakh for the 18-year-old. 

Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria, Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary, Assam Ministers Pijush Hazarika, U.G. Brahma and Assam Director-General of Police G.P. Singh were among the dignitaries who attended the closing ceremony.

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