The water babies of IIT Kharagpur dived in and swam out with medals, leaving Dhanbad and Roorkee behind them. With tough competition from their Madras and Bombay counterparts, the swimmers gave their best performance, proving their nerves of steel, during tense moments.
The inclusion of sports has always been considered to be one of the pillars in the all-round development in the Indian Academic system. The IITs, where the academic acceptance rate is less than 1%, and where students are evaluated on the basis of their studies, the sporting culture has always taken a backseat. However, a little over three decades back, the importance of sports has been recognized by these Institutes and today, IIT Kharagpur hosts its 35th edition of the Inter IIT Aquatics Meet in the campus with 12 IITs across India participating in what is considered to be one of the prime highlights of the IIT circuit.
The event flagged off on 29th September with a grand opening ceremony with the arrival of the Chief Guest, Paralympian Swimmer, Mr Prasanta Karmakar. With several feathers in this cap – the Arjuna Award and Major Dhyan Chand Sports Award, along with three awards for Swimmer of the Year. Felicitation of Mr Karmakar was followed by welcome speeches by Professors and the Dean of Student Affairs.
It was a challenging day for the KGPians in the individual events, as they faced tough competition from Madras and Bombay respectively. However, the players brought home the Gold and Silver for 100 mt Backstroke for Men.
However, all their pent-up pain were released at the water-polo match in the event segment. KGP scored a good 12 goals over 3 goals by IIT Madras.
The second day was comparatively easier. IIT Kharagpur clinched Silver in 50 mt Butterfly for Women, Bronze in 200 mt Individual Medley for Men, and a Gold in 50 mt Backstroke for Men. At the same time, they won the water-polo match by 18 goals against a Duck by Team Dhanbad.
The water-polo team of IIT Kharagpur has proven time and again that they are unmatchable when it comes to the game. The third day stood witness to the statement. With two out of five medals in the swimming events, this time too, IIT KGP water polo team took full advantage of the game, beating Bombay by 9 goals.
Day four, 2nd October, turned out to be pretty tough for the KGPians. With just one medal in the 50 mt Breast Stroke for Men, the tension for holding on to one of the top three positions, was mounting. The players however, brought out their fury in the water-polo event scoring 13. IIT Roorkee was beaten by 10 goals.
The current overall standings, as on 3rd October 2019, shows IIT Kharagpur in the second position with 20 points, lead by IIT Madras with 24 points, followed by IIt Kanpur and IIT Roorkee with 10 and 8 points respectively. IIT Kharagpur won bronze in the Men’s swimming category, while in the Women’s swimming events, the Institute stood second.
It was truly a ‘golden’ moment for the KGPians who sealed the first position in water-polo, followed by IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee
The men – women student ratio in the IITs could be pretty skewed, but with sports, they stand shoulder to shoulder, proving zero gender bias in extracurricular activities. The scoreboard of this 35th Inter IIT Aquatics Meet stands witness to this.
PadmaShree Awardee, and Champion Swimmer, Ms Bula Choudhury graced the event at its closing ceremony today, 3rd October 2019. IIT Kharagpur is immensely proud and grateful to have her over. The Institute hopes, someday one of its children, apart from making a mark in the field of academics, industry and entrepreneurship, would also bear the Tricolour on the global platform in sports.