The 47th edition of the Annual Inter-IIT Sports Meet, which returned to Kharagpur after a decade long hiatus proved to be equal to any Bollywood potboiler you might have managed to catch this December. With some stunning wins and unexpected heartbreaks, and even a couple of brawls and bans thrown in, Inter-IIT 2011-’12 did not fail to surprise.
Instrumental to Kharagpur’s grand Diamond Jubilee Celebrations plan was a glitch-free execution of the Inter-IIT and efforts were not lacking in trying to impress. As is the norm in all Inter-IITs, the host college got a hurried make-over, in addition to a whole new array of sports facilities in the recently constructed Gymkhana. The organizing team executed the meet in noteworthy fashion, and the campus was a treat to the visitors.
A few people were found whining about the oily mess food and the accommodation, but such issues were the exception rather than the norm.
However, as the sports meet unfolded, other gaping holes were discovered. It seemed that while we had been trying so hard to bedazzle, we had forgotten what Inter-IIT was all about- sports, and fostering a healthy spirit of competition. Even as the organizers’ performance exceeded expectations, the home teams failed to follow suit. Kharagpur was unable to improve its last year’s performance, finishing an over-all 6th in the Men’s categories yet again. With a standing in just four of the eleven sports (and a Gold in March-past), this was indeed a disappointment.
The Scholar’s Avenue team spoke to the captains and G. Sec Sports to find out more. “We were expecting to do better in Athletics and Badminton, we lost around 20 points there”, says G. Sec Sports, Abhishek Negi. While a bit of bad luck and surprises did contribute to the miserable standings, there is definitely room for improvement. Earlier team selections and practice sessions involving the entire team are on the top of the to-do lists for next year. Apart from this, a major upheaval of practice schedules due to the unavailability of the grounds and courts was also seen as a contributing factor. “The new Gymkhana was finished just in time (the squash court was completed four days before Inter-IIT began). The infrastructure was not ready till the last minute, so some teams could not practice as much as they should have.”, says G. Sec Sports, Pratyaksh Pathak.
There was an additional dampener on the proceedings owing to some uncharacteristically unsporting behavior. The heat of the competition sparked off ugly brawls that culminated in bans on all the current members of the Kharagpur (2 years) and Kanpur (1 year) cricket teams, as well as two Bombay hockey players (1 year). Still, the G. Secs are hopeful that the appeals to the Director to lift the bans on the Kharagpur team members will be successful.
However, all was not bleak. The Women’s teams gave the Kgp junta plenty of cause to cheer. They showed impressive improvement in Athletics and Lawn Tennis, while maintaining their Gold winning position in Table Tennis. With standings in all sports, but Volleyball, the Women’s contingent finished second overall, losing out on the crown by a mere 3.47 points. Even in the Men’s sports, new teams like Volleyball, Squash and Tennis performed rather well, with a marked improvement in Weightlifting. In fact, the G. Secs are quite hopeful about a better showing next year. “Now there can be no excuse of poor infrastructure. If the teams are selected earlier and they get enough practice, we should see more medals coming in.”
A few murmurs of complaints, unpleasant brawls and a wanting performance were lows indeed, but an overall smooth operation of the proceedings ensured that most visitors found Kharagpur to be gracious hosts and went home satisfied. Hats off to the organizers as well as the women’s contingent for pulling off such brilliant performances. Here’s hoping that they continue their spectacular rise and maybe the men could pick up some handy tips from them.