50th Inter IIT Sports’ Meet, 2014

The Inter IIT Sports’ Meet is an annual 8 day long affair. One of the biggest inter collegiate tournaments in the country, it is hosted by the seven old IITs of the country, in turns. The main event is held in December whereas Aquatics events are held separately in Octobar. The 50th Inter IIT Sports’ Meet was hosted by IIT Bombay in December 2015. The Main Meet held during December 12-19, 2014 encompasses tournaments in 11 sports, namely Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Football, Hockey, Lawn Tennis, Squash, Table Tennis, Volleyball and Weightlifting. This year, a total of 16 IITs competed for the Champion’s title in the Men’s category where the defending champions, IIT Kanpur, emerged as the winners yet again and took home the coveted General Championship trophy; IIT Roorkee and IIT Kharagpur completed the podium. Bombay won the Women’s GC followed by Kanpur and Madras. A summary of Kgp’s performance in different sports

Aquatics

This is the first time in 6 years that the Women’s team was able to win a medal. Despite strong competitors, we managed a Bronze in 4x50m this year. The team stumbled when the third player backed out due to medical reasons and a substitute had to be flown in on a very short notice. The players performed well individually and as a team. This year, the management paid more attention to the girls’ team as compared to the previous years and the results depict the same. Unlike other teams in women’s sports, the aquatics team had a dedicated (new) coach, Aadhrik Mitra, who made sure the players were disciplined and worked hard throughout. Intense training sessions of about 4 hours daily brought them closer to victory.

When asked about the facilities, the players suggested that the membership card routine be scrapped for Inter IIT and potential Inter IIT players since it involves a lot of hustle. Along with that, it was suggested that the players be provided by plane tickets for travel since the train journey is unreasonably long and tiring.

The road ahead should be easier for the team given that the champion in women’s aquatics will be graduating this year. There are more participants as compared to last year so all in all things are looking up for this team.

 

Athletics

The Athletics contingent put up a strong display at Bombay picking up a bronze medal, a huge improvement over the 6th place they secured at the previous Inter-IIT. Captain Samar believes that this improvement is because of the full-time coach allocated to the team.

The athletics practice started early in the spring semester itself and continued through the summer also. Intense practice sessions took place thought the Durga Puja vacations and also during the month of November.

10624763_1434095543479608_1024354435521369894_nContingent captain Rahul Koshal won the gold medal in hammer throw setting a new Inter-IIT record in the process. In preparation for next year’s meet, the Athletics team will participate in various college sports fest as a part of their round-the-year training plan. With the majority of the team remaining the same , the Athletics team would be aiming for an even better performance next year.

Badminton

A promising men’s badminton team from KGP failed to rise to the occasion at Bombay, crashing out in the quarter final against Delhi. Earlier the team had beaten Roorkee (3-0) and Patna (3-0) , and lost to Bombay (2-3)  after being just one game away from victory in the group stages. The defeat led to the team being matched against Delhi in the quarters, where they lost without much of a fight (3-0).

The fact that two of the team members were in their final year hurt their respective practice sessions and cost the team during the tournament. More importantly, like in the case of many other games, the players suffered due to absence of coaching faculty during training and the tournament at Bombay. The only coaching they received, from a visiting coach, lasted for just two days, and amounted to nothing significant, as reported by team member Saket Thavanani. The facilities available at KGP were also extremely adverse for training of the team, with only one among the three available courts suitable for practice. Further, very often the players themselves had to mop the court and clear it of dust or bird droppings in order to make it game-ready.

The women’s badminton team fetched a silver medal this year losing to Kanpur in the finals. The team successfully defeated IIT Madras in the quarter finals but ran low on morale when it came to the match against IIT Guwahati, having lost to them last year. After a tough match, Guwahati was taken down in semis. Anushka Gupta, the captain, took responsibility for the missed Gold and admitted it was the outcome of a bad decision. Nevertheless, it was a step ahead from last year. The dynamics of the contingent helped a lot in boosting the players’ morale this time. They practiced playing under the influence of anti-cheering without allowing it to affect their performance, like it did last time. The team faced a lot of negative cheering from the home crowd, but won anyway.

Although our players are at par with players of other IITs, infrastructure becomes the game changer. Other teams have better facilities and management and are therefore performing better.

Anushka pointed out that the training facilities in Kharagpur need a great deal of improvement. She  lamented the lack of opportunities for players here, observing that girls don’t even get pep talk let alone other forms of encouragement. According to her, scrapping Shaurya was a bad move. Moreover, the least that could have been done was give players quality match practice against other colleges. The entire team that reached the semifinals this year, which included a new player, an M.Tech 1st year, are going to graduate at the same time. The captain hopes that more people can be taken under their wing and trained to Inter IIT standards before she graduates.

Basketball 

The basketball team from KGP bagged bronze defeating Varanasi in the third place match after losing to Bombay in the semi final. The team had an undefeated run the up until t10441915_1432989636923532_4652732890752290256_nhe semi, easily overcoming Patna and Jodhpur in group stage, and prevailing over a tougher opponent Kanpur by just o
ne point in quarter final. In the semi final, Bombay “with a bit of homeground advantage” got the better of Kharagpur that failed to seek their best, 63 to 45. Later, KGP had it easy against Varanasi in the third place match, though the victory was only by 1 point (71-70).

The team and the coach had their task cut out before the meet since a fair number of top players from last year graduated. Captain Aditya Gour recalls, “The players were pretty enthusiastic about training and it went smoothly throughout.” He pointed out that the similar climate of Bombay and KGP helped the team along unlike at Roorkee two years ago when the team crashed out in quarter final. Now, since more players are graduating, Aditya expects the coach to once again build a good team with new players and hopes are that there will be fierce competition to fill the void.

1453250_1432988326923663_4180681472997550748_nThe Women’s team finished 4th this team, losing the bronze by just 1 point. While the performance was better than last year, the team believes it could have done a lot more. There is concern among the senior players that the very few girls turn up for practice. The coach was also more serious about the men’s team. Like other sports, it came to light that the girls face neglection in a lot of ways. A need was felt for an indoor court. The captain pointed out that just before Inter IIT, it rained quite often in Kharagpur making it impossible to play on a wet court.

 

Cricket

The IIT Kharagpur cricket team won gold in Bombay. Riding high on confidence after the silver that they won in the previous tournament in Guwahati, the team had high hopes from Bombay and it showed. Kharagpur managed to win all their matches, including the group stages where they defeated Gandhinagar, Mandi and Bhubhaneshwar. In the knockout rounds, Kharagpur defeated Guwahati in the quarters and Delhi in the semis, before going on to win against IIT-BHU in the finals and erasing all the bittersweet memories of the finals defeat to Kanpur the year before.

Three years ago, during the tournament hosted by our own IIT Kharagpur, an incident led to the banning of all the then  active players of the KGP cricket team. This led to an entirely new crop of players being thrust to the forefront. Naturally, their lack of experience had led many of us to suggest that they wouldn’t perform well back then. That same group of players today were able to defy all expectations and have given KGPians something to be proud about.

10419067_1434083990147430_6422019766240629803_nLed by captain Abhishek Gupta , also the captain last year, theteam went into the tournament on the back of practice sessions which the captain described as ‘two-levels’ higher than their competition. We spoke to Abhishek, who stressed that it was the team’s insistence on playing the game by the book that proved to be the difference this time around. Another factor that played a major role in the team’s success was the appointment of a permanent coach last year . This brought to an end the previous system where the captain was overburdened  with some of the coaching responsibilities as well. The fast pitches in IIT Bombay and the prevalence of high quality cricketing conditions allowed the team to assert their dominance over the less technically adept teams.

With only two players leaving this year, and the rest of the team already in the fourth year of their inter IIT experience, there are many reasons to be optimistic about next year’s tournament as well.

Football 

The football team from KGP put up a fantastic show at Bombay, managing to not concede a single field goal throughout the tournament and finishing third in the process. The team cruised comfortably through the group stages, and the quarter final to be matched with Roorkee in the semi-final. In the semi-final, both teams remained goalless at full time, after which Roorkee came out on top of KGP in the penalty shootouts. KGP defeated Hyderabad in a very single sided third place match (3-0) to clinch the bronze medal.

The team had it easy in the group stages claiming victories over Gandhinagar (2-0), Mandi(5-0) and Indore (4-0) to face Bombay in the quarter finals. In a match that drew a lot of crowd, KGP scored early on and maintained the lead throughout to defeat Bombay 1-0. But the eventual champions Roorkee raised a ruckus in “the smooth passing, chance creating game” KGP had displayed up until semis. While Roorkee couldn’t create chances, KGP created a couple but failed to convert as the game went on to penalties.10385462_1434084413480721_1836228368482990927_n

Team captain Navneet Kumar said that the team had well planned quality training sessions before the meet, complemented by excellent coaching and practice matches in KGP and at Kolkata. He attributed credit to the goalkeeper of the team Jivan Jyoti who maintained clean sheets throughout and also praised the performances of Satya Prakash and Nobleson Aimol. He added that the future of the team looks pretty bright despite a few players graduating, with good number of talented junior and sophomore year players being part of the team.

Hockey 

The Hockey team kick-started the tournament with a 2-0 win over IIT-Hyderabad. In the next group stage game, they lost 0-2 to eventual champions IIT-Roorkee. The team still managed to qualify for the quarter-finals where they faced 4-time champions IIT-Madras. The team entered this game without theservices of two key attacking players due to injuries they picked up during the group stage.  Despite an extremely spirited effort, they ended up losing 0-3 to IIT-Madras and were knocked out of the tournament.

The team’s early exit might have been a result of the lack of practice sessions due to excessive rains. But the (more) alarming issue is the absence of proper lighting facilities at the Jnan Gosh stadium which results in limited practice sessions on weekdays. But With close to 50 interested players and an experienced coach to lead them, goalkeeper Ashnil Kumar feels that Hockey team will strive hard to improve their performance at next year’s Inter-IIT.

Lawn Tennis 

The Men’s team in tennis put up a good show to claim the bronze medal after unfortunately crashing out in the semi-final. The team had an undefeated run up until the semi final where they went up against Kanpur. After losing the first singles match of the semi final and requiring to win the rest two matches to proceed to final, the KGP doubles team took on Kanpur. After winning one set (7-6) and losing one (4-6), as the game went on to the third set which was fought over hard, the team eventually succumbed to Kanpur at 11-13. The team defeated Guwahati in the third place match to grab bronze.

The team was pretty pleased with the training facilities and conditions available at KGP for training, and benefitted from the presence of PTI (allotted by TSG) and the visiting coach. Team member Tejeshwar Gill, now in his final year, observed that the facilities for tennis now are far better than what it used to be four years ago and  suggested that the training of newer players could benefit if the proposed new courts were built faster. Although three among four of the team members this year are graduating, he is confident that the team next year could go all the way to win the gold they missed out this year.

The Women’s team fetched Gold this year by defeating IIT Bombay. They reached the finals by overcoming a tough pool which had experienced players from Bombay, Delhi and Kanpur. Overall competition didn’t increase but the team stumbled in the unexpected match with Delhi. The team was expected to face Madras in the finals, but the Madras team lost in semi finals which resulted in us facing Bombay in the finals. The strategy was to top in the group so that they could face an easy team in the semi finals. On the upside, the second player (Praniti Agarwal) played tougher matches this time owing to injury to the top player (Mallika Saharia, Captain). Both the players took charge equally. This led to an increase in confidence in both players, changed the dynamics in our favour and resulted in the Gold.

On the downside, a lot of light was shed on the lack of proper facilities for the Inter IIT players. Though they had a coach this year, he came in pretty late. The courts are also very hard as compared to standard synthetic courts. A proposal of constructing more courts was accepted a while back but hasn’t been enforced yet. The captain also pointed out the lack of interest and neglect that is portrayed when it comes to going an extra mile for the female players. She urges the Gymkhana to mandate a GC event for girls as well. The existing players need more discipline, a dedicated coach and there is a serious need for more participation from girls. The Captain also says that there is a need for a change in attitude and momentum when it comes to encouraging and training female players.

Squash

The squash team put up an incredible show at Bombay clinching bronze, their first medal ever in the Inter -IIT competition. The team started off the tournament with tough victories against Kanpur(2-1) and Madras(2-1) in the opening two group stage games. The team then defeated Jodhpur handsomely (3-0), thereby clinching the top spot in their group.

In the Semifinals both teams were tied 1-1 after 2 games and third game went right down to the wire. Captain Anchit Singh played the last match brilliantly but ended up losing the game 3-2 with the score in the final game reading 11-9. In the resulting bronze medal play-off match the team cruised past Kanpur to pick up the bronze medal.

The main problem that the team faces is that the campus has a single court as compared to three in most other-IITs. This limits the training opportunities for most of the enthusiastic and up-coming players. Also the appointment of a full-time dedicated coach will go a long way in not only improving the performance in the Inter-IITs but will also increase the general enthusiasm for squash in the campus. Although two of the top players are graduating this year, the team expects to finish higher because of the number and skill of reserve players.

Table Tennis 

The table tennis team adds to the reasonably long list of teams from KGP that had the potential to be the champions, but ended up with a bronze. After defeating the eventual winners Jodhpur (3-2)  and knocking out Kanpur, a strong contender, in group stage matches, KGP went on to lose against Bombay in the semifinal (3-1). The team had won an easy game against Guwahati (3-0) in the quarter finals and another tough match against Roorkee (3-2) in the third-place match let them bag bronze.

The team suffered due to absence of a permanent coach during training as well as the games. According to captain Pranay Hasan, the team had to rely on YouTube to learn or improvise techniques during training.  At Bombay, the allotted PTI could not attend most of matches as he was in charge of other sports too, and this negatively impacted strategizing as a team. Pranay has never lost a match in the knock-out stages in his three years at Inter-IIT meets, and when asked about his experiences and expectations, he simply replied, “I want gold”.

Volleyball 

This year’s Inte10857949_1430927993796363_4038099210827836944_nr-IIT was a forgetful one for the Volleyball team, being knocked out in the group stage itself. The team lost all but one of its matches, picking up their only points against IIT-Hyderabad in the last group stage match. The team lost key players due to injuries during practice matches played at Kharagpur. Successive losses in their games against Bombay and Kanpur meant their run was over in a mere two days.

Team captain D K Basumatary mentioned that newer courts are a necessity as rains render the current courts unfit for practice. He also added that having a permanent coach will not only ensure that practice sessions are conducted smoothly but will also increase interest in the sport among students.

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