The tumultuous progress of the Sports General Championship, replete with a healthy share of controversies and upset results, served to keep the KGP populace thoroughly entertained for the last two semesters. In a year when the campus was abuzz with the excitement of hosting the Inter IITs, MMM and LLR demonstrated how neither seniors, nor first and second years, are a necessary requirement for sporting success. It turned out to be a season where defending champions MS finished at a banal 5th spot with less than half the number of points amassed by Patel, who put up a remarkable string of consistent performances together to clinch the coveted GC trophy.
Athletics was the first event in the calendar and it set the controversies running. Thanks to faulty markings on the racetrack, MS were forced to run an additional 13 metres in the 4x400m relay event and ended up finishing 3rd behind Patel. The furious MS participants relinquished their medals in protest. One of Azad’s sprinters was denied a podium finish and relegated to 4th position on account of faulty timing in the 100m preliminaries, which meant that he did not qualify for the 8-participant final. Angry remonstrations eventually led to him being incorporated into the final as an unprecedented 9th participant. On the brighter side, the Azad team set a record in the 6 km road race while Nehru’s gold winning overall share of 77 points was a lesson in sheer dedication and finesse.
Coming to the field games, cricket fans witnessed an all-time record set by Kamal Singh of RP when he smashed 135 off just 68 balls in a league match against SAM. It was a performance reminiscent of Brendon McCullum’s knock that kickstarted the first IPL season. Overall, cricket was an event dominated by PAN, but MMM caused several heads to turn by going all the way up to the final before losing to Azad. They got their revenge by thrashing Azad 3-0 to clinch the bronze medal in football. However, football this year will be remembered for the highly exciting final match between LLR and Nehru, which the former won by an extra time goal. PAN dominance was also seen in hockey, with Nehru getting bronze and unfancied Patel reaching the finals, but that was where they had to bow down to the sheer might of RK.
The volleyball event was pleasantly shocking with MMM defying the odds to be crowned as champions and delivering quite a blow to the egos of the established senior halls in the process. The future of this sport looks wide open with inter hall girls’ volleyball scheduled to be inaugurated next year after it was successfully staged in the inter IIT. Azad bagged the top spot in tennis, but it was the semi final match between Nehru and Patel which stood out as one of the best ever contests witnessed in KGP. Patel emerged triumphant and went on to take the silver medal, while MS got bronze. Moving on to water sports, this was where RP finally had some reason to cheer with their vastly experienced and talented swimmers sharing the honours with Patel. RP ended up clinching gold in water polo and silver in aquatics, while it was vice-versa for Patel. Earlier, RP had won the bronze medal in badminton, an event where LLR stole the show with a brilliant unbeaten run right up to the finals, where they beat MS to earn the top spot.
Chaos was rampant and disputes erupted in some of the other sports. The table tennis final between Patel and MS witnessed severely unruly behaviour from the supporters, eventually leading to 5 points being deducted from both halls. This was not implemented however and MS won the event to bag the full 10 points. Similar happenings also occurred after the basketball semifinal between Patel and Nehru and there were threats of point deduction, which was a pity as the match had been one of very high quality. The basketball event was eventually won by RK and no point cuts actually materialised. Weightlifting caused further ruckus when Azad alleged that the elbows of a Nehru participant had touched his knees during a lift, which is not allowed. They went on to show the video to the Gymkhana officials, who turned a blind eye to the entire affair by dismissing the video filmed by Azad as unofficial. It should be pointed out here that the Gymkhana does not have official videographers for many events and hence, the question of an official video leaves room for a lot of ambiguity.
The Sports GC stretched more than a week into April, although the winner and runners up were decided well before. The final events were the ones testing the mental ability of the players. Bridge was won by LLR, albeit a few hiccups in the process, while Patel brought an emphatic end to the season by beating a fancied Azad team in the chess final. And thus, with the chess results getting declared on the 9th of April, the Sports General Championship 2011-2012 concluded. Patel proved that there is no substitute to sheer consistency and emerged deserving champions by leaving runners up Nehru no less than 20 points behind, who in their own turn left 3rd placed RK 17 points behind. We congratulate the winners and look forward to another great year of sporting action up ahead!