The Kanpur team gave the 400m Hurdles event a miss and fielded no athlete to compete. We had also failed to qualify for the women’s 100m finals. This left three events for Kanpur to participate in. In Hammer Throw, Kanpur’s Bala Murugan stood 3rd with a throw of 34.74m. Zunaid, the other Kanpur participant finished 6th as his best throw fell short. The crowd-pleaser event, 100m Men’s race finals, were held today. Kanpur was represented by Deepak Jorwal and Mohit Yadav. Jorwal’s run of 11.8s narrowly missed the third spot, missing by 0.1s. The neck-to-neck finish was to be expected in such a fast-paced event. In women’s Long Jump, Kanpur’s Shanti Shree wrapped up proceedings for the day by finishing 4th with a distance of 4.20m. Devyani Meena gained in experience as she unfortunately stood 15th.
In the men’s semi-final, Rohit of Kanpur defeated his opponent in straight sets 21-17, 21-11. Rohit was off to a superb start in the first set leading 15-10 in the crucial match with some classy smashes on the backhand and combination of drops and net play. He finished the set taking advantage of 4 set points. Gopi finally stole the match 2-0 in his favour.
In the second single’s matchup Kanpur top seed Gopichand was faced with a tough opponent. They took the game to a new level, longer rallies, unerring net shots, hairpin drops and the fast pace of the game captivated all. Gopichand took an initial lead of 4 points midway but the Bombay lad soon caught up and tied the score 18 all in the nail biting match but Gopi kept his cool to take the first set 21-19. There were a couple of controversial points which went in favour of the home team. The crafty lefty from Bombay made a commendable comeback with aggressive intent in the second half of play. His precise net skills kept Gopi on the run as exhaustion got the better of him miscuing some winners. The high tension match soon came to an end as Gopi went on the offensive with a plethora of smashes to win the set 21-16 leading the match 2-0.
The doubles team dominated Delhi in both the sets. The loud cheering from home crowd was a catalyst as Kanpur’s team play strategy proved fatal for the opponents. Kanpur served first in the set and were 2-0 up and pressed further gaining 5 more points, the combination of Rohit’s offencive jump smashes pushed them away from midcourt while his partner’s crafty net shots were a killer. Kanpur went on to win the match 21-16, 21-11 to win the game 3-0 setting up a clash with Madras in the finals for gold.
Today’s first badminton women’s semifinal was played between Kanpur and Roorkee. The first singles was held between Priya of Kanpur and Tanvi of Roorkee. Priya was in good form and won first set 21-5. In second set Tanvi tried to give fight, initially taking the score to 8-10 but after that she seemed to lose heart and Priya claimed the second set 21-9.The doubles was played by Priya and Shrishti from Kanpur’s side. The first set was going pretty interesting till the score was 9-9 but after that home team went on rampage and took the score to 16-9 , winning it finally 21-15. They won the next set 21-16 and hence the match for themselves. This victory now takes the home team to finals which will be held on Sunday.
The women’s team went down 59-44 to Madras today and will fight for bronze with Delhi tomorrow. The opening quarter saw a level contest between the two teams with both registering 12 points each. From there on, Madras girl Nithila stole the game from the host team. She was all over the court, donning the role of a centre, forward and guard and donning it exceptionally well. Overall, she scored a whopping 43 points in the game. The middle two quarters saw Kanpur struggling to make 21 points whereas Madras clinched 37. In the second quarter, Madras gave away a lot of fouls to Kanpur most of which they converted. However, Madras had a very strong defense which forced a lot of errors out of the home team. Moreover, once the ball reached Nithila’s hands there was little the Kanpur girls could do and it almost always found the net. Kanpur’s Avani put up a good game today running the ball well through the Madras defence and then on to score some crucial baskets. In the final quarter, Madras put on a defensive stance and scored a mere 10. Kanpur’s Kasturi contributed 7 points out of the 11 points made by Kanpur in this quarter. The match saw two 3 pointers, one each by Kanpur’s Chanchala and Sonal.
The Knockout stages began today with Kharagpur being Kanpur’s first assignment. The match began as a tense affair, with no sides taking any chances. Kanpur got their first chance which resulted from a great run by Saurav but it didn’t result in anything substantial. Then midway through the first half Kharagpur had a good chance when a Shroddan Chandra produced a magnificent shot. The rest of the half was a fight between Kharagpur defence and Kanpur attack, which Kanpur was winning.
The next half started with a bang when Debrath scored with a courageous header from Asad’s cross. From then on the tactics from Kanpur were clear, park the bus to prevent any goal. Whereas Kharagpur went on full throttle, creating numerous opportunities to score but some wasteful finishing and good goalkeeping from Kanpur goalkeeper Mainak ensured that the score remained that way and it finished 1-0 in Kanpur’s favour.
An amazing turn of events was displayed by the Kharagpur team as they defeated the hosts in the last league match of the hockey tournament in the 51st inter IIT, here at Kanpur. With a penalty corner in the 3rd minute of the game, Kharagpur showed their attacking strategy. The usual energy lacked in the Kanpur side as Kharagpur dominated and Chandra Shekhar Meena scored the only goal of the game in the 41st minute, successfully converting a penalty corner. Kharagpur showed great defense and their strategy included containing the Kanpur captain. That worked quite well as Kharagpur won their last match. This showed great character on part of the Kharagpur team as they had already been knocked out of the tournament and Kanpur had won every match till today. It would be safe to assume that Kanpur didn’t play their best and Kharagpur were able to swing things in their favour. This concluded the league matches as Kanpur meets Roorkee in the knockout, which indeed would be an interesting watch.
Kanpur faced Bombay in the first semi-final today. Sagar Batra represented Kanpur in the first singles. Sagar started off playing an aggressive game. He broke his opponent’s serve in the first game itself. Bombay gave a good fight in the second to recover from the initial damage. They won the second game to level the score at 1-1. Sagar smartly placed his shots and converted them to winners. Sagar won the first set 6-1. In the second set Bombay took the lead in the first game, breaking Sagar’s serve. The players continued to rally through the points as the score reached 3-2, Bombay leading. The player from Bombay just had to hold his serve this time. He did his job well as the scoreboard reached 40-0. It seemed Kanpur has lost this set and the game will move on to the tie breaker round. But Sagar showed great temperament. He brought up a deuce and broke his opponent’s serve in the most crucial moment. The scoreboard reached 5-4, Kanpur leading. Sagar served the tenth game, finishing things up to win the match 6-1, 6-4.
The second match in this semi-final was the doubles in which Ankush paired up with Sagar. Both teams held their serves as they reached the final moments of the set, with a score 5-5. The Bombay pair was able to get a break in the eleventh game. Kanpur needed to break Bombay’s serve to stay in the set. But in this final game, Bombay turned out to be just a bit better, winning the set 7-5. The Kanpur duo was on a roll when they once again broke Bombay’s serve, taking the set score to 3-0. At this time Bombay made a much needed break, taking the scoreboard to 3-1. Both sides held their serve for the next 4 games taking the scoreboard to 5-3. Bombay now served to stay in the set. Sagar smashed a winner to create two set points. Bombay saved the first one. But Kanpur didn’t miss the second opportunity as they won the set 6-3. The doubles match was now in the tie breaker round. Both teams played at par, winning alternate points. When the score reached 6-4, there was a heated argument over a wrong call by the baseline umpire. Bombay was given the benefit of doubt. Kanpur duo committed couple of unforced errors. The score reached 9-6, Bombay leading with 3 match points. Sagar and Ankush saved the first two match points. But following a long rally, Sagar made an unforced error and Bombay won the tie-breaker 10-8. The Kanpur duo and supporters were disappointed as Bombay won the match 7-5, 3-6, 10-8.
The final match was between Ankush from Kanpur and Arvind from Bombay. This match saw some really long rallies and classic winners. Arvind’s serve was much stronger. But Ankush was able to return them. Despite having a relatively weak serve; Ankush won the points owing to his great footwork and placement of shots. The cheering by the home-side definitely influenced the result of the match. As the crowd motivated Ankush in regular intervals, Kanpur won the third match in straight sets. Kanpur is all set to play the finals tomorrow against Madras. Meanwhile the medal hopes of Bombay are not over yet as they face Kharagpur in the bronze medal match tomorrow.
Kanpur squared off against Kharagpur in a breathtaking semifinal. The stage was set with the squash court being jam-packed. Tizil from Kanpur and Harsh from Kharagpur started the proceedings.The first match saw interesting twists and turns. A 3-0 lead for Harsh to 4 points in a row for Tizil, accompanied with long rallies were staples of the first game. But when the scorecard read 7-7, Harsh played some sensational dropshots to win the game by 11-6. Tizil overpowered the second game cleaning it up by 11-5 and settling scores to 1-1. Harsh claimed the third game by 11-3 and seemed to be dominating the match by 2-1.But Tizil turned the tables winning 2 back to back games by 11-7, 11-6 and guiding Kanpur to a victory in the first match by 3-2.
For the second match, homeboy Vivek was facing Sanket of Kharagpur. Vivek won the initial game by11-5. The second set was about to go in Kharagpur’s favour as they led by 10-7. But Vivek held his nerves and scored 5 points in a row, thus, pulling off an almost lost game by 12-10. Sanket displayed strong resistance winning third game by 11-4. But Vivek successfully defeated Sanket by 11-3 in the next game,thereby, snatching victory for the home side by match score 3-1 and overall score 2-0.
The Kanpur men’s team amazed the audience yet again with their incredible performance in today’s semifinal against Bombay. The home team had established its dominance right from the first set and finally won the match by 3-0. While Sandy once again captivated the audience by his mesmerizing performance, Piyush, Ritesh and Amit also showed brilliant gameplay on the field. The boys made an easy and elegant entry into the finals, where they will be facing BHU who defeated Roorkee in the other semifinal match without letting Roorkee win any set. The Kanpur boys are all pumped up to set the ground on fire in the finals tomorrow.
However, Delhi snatched the win from Kanpur in the women’s semifinal match. While the Kanpur girls easily won the first set by 25-17, Delhi made a surprising comeback winning the next two sets. Kanpur regained the momentum in the fourth set winning it by 25-12 but sadly it didn’t last till the last set and they lost the match to Delhi by 3-2. Shenoy, captain Delhi team, played wonderfully and led the team to the finals where they will be facing Bombay. The home team will be playing against Roorkee for the third position.