Defending Champions Kharagpur Relegated to third
The 42nd Inter-IIT Meet at IIT Guwahati spelt disappointment for the defending champions, IIT Kharagpur, as we finished 3rd in the Overall Men’s GC and 2nd in the Women’s GC. After last year’s stellar performance by the Men and the consequent expectations back home, finishing at a 16 point lag was all the more dampening. IIT Madras lifted the Cup, far ahead at 68.
Set in the foothills of the Shiwaliks, circumscribed by the clear waters of the Brahmaputra, dotted by lakes and green hillocks within the picturesque campus, IIT Guwahati hosted the event for the first time. Their nascent sports complex was illuminated by specially installed floodlights – the campus flaunted Sports in Style. With Arjuna Award recipient Bhogeshwar Baruah as the Chief Guest of the Opening Ceremony, the Director Gautam Barua reiterated his pride by announcing the youngest IIT’s entry into the League of its Big Brothers. Guwahati won the march past competition, in a field of 7 competitors, and the competition had already begun. The next few days were a whirlwind of activities as the league phase matches started for all the sporting events building up to a crescendo as the final hurdles were conquered on 18th and 19th.
Men’s General Championship : Gunning for the Gold…
The weight lifting team comfortably added to its traditional Gold Mine. With two golds (Bhaben Deori and Kanwaljeet Singh), two silvers and a bronze, the team grabbed the first place with 17 points. Bomay lost out by a single unfortunate point in spite of 3 golds and Madras finished third.
Volleyball hit Gold as the Kgp legends, Chanchal Pandey and Amritanshu Kumar ended their Inter-IIT career, leading their team to victory once again. Although their first match against Kanpur began with disappointing hiccups, they sailed through the Semis, and it was against Kanpur again, that they aggressively and deservingly seized Cup in the Finals. Volleyball was one of the most exciting sports for spectators, and the team supporters fought as much as the players themselves. Asit deserves a special mention as a fresher whose talent and spirit shone equally among the Masters of the Game.
Hockey took Kgp from a commendable Bronze last year to an undoubted Gold this year. Trampling Roorkee but succumbing to Delhi due to adventurous experimenting, the team made an astounding comeback almost immediately. Beating Kanpur 3-1, they took their revenge against IITD in the Finals by lifting the Hockey Cup (2-1). Kudos to Shovit and Yousuf for their excellent performance!
Men’s General Championship : Stayed at Silver…
Last year’s favourites, the Table Tennis team returned with a Silver this time. League matches resulted in victory and defeat against Kanpur and Madras respectively. Although the Home Team boasted of the best player this Inter-IIT, it was just a one-man tirade as they lost to Kgp in the Semis. It was in the finals, that the team felt the absence of Ravi Agarwal, and yielded 3-1 to Madras.
After last year’s letdown, The Footer Team gave their a run for their money in an amazing comeback. Overcoming Roorkee and drawing Madras, they beat Bombay 2-0 in the Semis. The breathtaking finals ended in Madras’s favor when Kgp lost the Penalty Shot and the match ended 4-1. One of the most enthusiastic teams in this year’s meet, they put up a really good show.
Men’s General Chamionship : Boasting of Bronze…
The Badminton Team, inspite of the stiff competition and lacking in one its best players, beat Delhi and Guwahati relentlessly back to back to storm into the Semis. Losing to a well-trained Madras team, it was Bronze for them again. Brilliant and trained to perfection, Bombay clinched the Gold.
The Athletics Team slipped to a Bronze this year with a relatively disappointing performance. 6 Bronze medals and 5 silvers, they still fell far behind Bombay that took home 8 Golds, 4 Silvers and 4 Bronze, and finally ended with 34.5 points. Delhi (almost a one man show by Navy-man Ashok Meena) finished close second at 55.5 behind Bombay at 64.
The basketball team too had a good run. A very high-spirited team, they started with a spur of victories but eventually lost the Semis to Madras. Winning all hearts with their enthusiasm on and off court, they excelled in their final match beating Guwahati to the Bronze.
Men’s General Championship: Just Missing Out…
The cricket team improved on their previous years performance by storming the first 2 matches against Madras and Guwahati (97 and 87 all-out respectively). Just as things were looking their best, “hard luck” took its toll. Dejected by their unwarranted defeat against Kanpur in the Semis, the fight for bronze against Delhi ended in the latter’s favour. The final was ultimately won by IITM who defeated IITK by 6 wickets, a result that decided the GC in favor of Madras on the final day.
As for underachievers, the strongest contender would have to be the Tennis team. Last year’s Bronze medalists failed to qualify for the semi finals, and the disappointment was all too palpable. Their first round exit could be attributed to some bad luck and mostly to the presence of competent teams fighting for the top notch. The star of this year’s matches was undoubtedly the junior Wimbledon contender, Arjun Vijayaragavan (IITM).
Women’s General Championship : A Step Ahead…
The girls’ contingent finished a commendable second in the General Championship. The Table Tennis team strode to a smooth, unchallenged victory without waiving in a single match on the way. While our team swept all matches 3-0, the others on the list had to be content with not-so-bad a defeat every time. The Badminton team beat Roorkee in a smooth, quiet League match to sail into the Semis. With Lady Luck on their side, they ended a very long drought of victory this year by bagging the Bronze. The Basketball team had come to Roorkee with high hopes, and performances were indeed looking very good in the League. The Semis, however, saw them lose to a thundering Madras team after which last minute-injuries caused the Bronze dream to also drown.
The competition gets tougher and tougher each year, and the pressure higher and higher. It is the spirit to fight for victory, for Kgp, that keeps the adrenaline pacing all those 8 days. After all, if winning didn’t matter, why do they keep the scores? But above all, after it’s all over, whether we clinched the GC or not, it’s the spirit of sports that lingers and comes out as winner. It’s that spirit that stays on every time we recall the Contingent we represented in the 42nd Inter IIT, 2006.