Day 5 was the happy homecoming the Kanpur contingent was waiting for. Besides grabbing the top two positions in Pole Vault and the second spot in 1500m, we also won the 4X100m Men’s relay against all odds.
In men’s 4x100m relay, we were up against Delhi who had in their ranks, Dileep Pudi, the Meet Record holder for 100, 200 and 400m events. Mohit gave us the steady start we needed before Waghela and Jorwal built the lead. Pranav finished off the race with a brilliant run as we pulled one over Delhi.
It was a repeat performance for Delhi’s Rahul Jhajharia and Kanpur’s Jaswinder Singh in the endurance event, 5000m race, as they stood 1st and 2nd respectively. Rahul has managed to stop the Jassi juggernaut throughout the event. Deepak Meena, Kanpur’s other hope, missed the 4th spot by 2 seconds.
In shot put women, Kanpur was represented by Kavita and Priya, both of whom could not break the top 4. The same was the case for our 4X100m women’s relay team as they finished 6th.
Pole Vault was our most assured performance in an athletics event yet. We were miles ahead of our competitors and both our participants broke the previous meet record of 3.35m. Anurag achieved a height of 3.60m without breaking a sweat and Sagar finished at 3.40m.
In an exciting match which won the hearts of everyone present on court, Kanpur won 3-2 to win gold. The first singles match was held between Rohit of Kanpur and Srinivi of Madras. Srinivi was in full control of first set till score was 20-14. After this Rohit went on rampage to take the scores to 20-20, but after this lost it 21-23. Rohit avenged the first set defeat by winning the next two sets 21-11 and 21-13. The second singles was held between Gopichand of Kanpur and Soham of Madras. It was an exciting match in which none was ready to give even a single point to the other. Gopichand lost the first set 22-24, claiming the second set 21-18 and losing the last set 17-21. With this Kanpur and Madras were tied 1-1. Next, the doubles match was held which was won easily by Rohit and Palash of Kanpur 21-14, 21-14 in straight sets. This took Kanpur ahead 2-1. In the next singles, Abhinav of Kanpur lost to Vignesh of Madras 21-17,15-21 and 20-22 in a three set match. This took the score to 2-2. After this, the second doubles was held. It was played by Abhinav and Gopichand from Kanpur’s. Soham was the star player from the Madras side. Kanpur won the first set 21-12 easily but lost the second set 18-21. The third set was tied at 20 each. As overall the score was tied 2 all and set score was tied at 1 each. The last set scores were also tied and gold for badminton was to be decided in the next few moments. Everyone’s heart was pumping fast, be it a professor or student. Even members of other teams who had lost earlier from these teams couldn’t contain their excitement. This time everyone had witnessed a level of badminton not seen in the tournament so far. Even after this no team was ready to give points and the score went to 22 each. But after this some classic shots from Gopichand stole the match from Madras and they won it 24-22 and hence gold for Kanpur. The level of competitiveness can be judged from the fact that normally a match generally lasts 2 hours whereas this lasted more than 4. Almost every match was decided in last set and in some cases, even till the last point.
After the impressive show of the men’s team now was the turn for the women’s team to add to the tally. The first singles match was a face off among the top seeds of their contingent. The former Inter-IIT gold medallist, Priya started off on shaky grounds as her rival won points effortlessly in the first set though her injury posed a serious threat to the continuation of the game. Priya looked wobbly, her game lacking the lustre of a titleholder though her opponent played with aggression and pulled through some brilliant smashes and forehand and backhand lobs to take the first set 21-18. The second set wasn’t any better for Kanpur as Kalyani took a 7 point lead halfway while Priya was trying to get her rhythm back. Post break, she did manage to reduce the lead bringing the score to 13-15 but Kalyani’s skills were unmatched as she went on to win the match 2-0.
Next up was the doubles match. The Bombay duo of Kalyani and Payal overcame the advantage taken by Kanpur at mid break with some sharp drops and net play winning the set. The subsequent set witnessed some tiring rallies and desperate short combinations from the host team but Bombay’s game strategy and team work worked like charm as Payal’s sideline smash finished the match in jolly style. The Bombay team took the title winning both the sets 21-14, 21-12.
Kanpur beat Delhi 46-42 in a thrilling clash to win bronze in women’s basketball. Both teams opened their points tally with a 3 pointer and went on to play neck and neck in the first quarter with Kanpur scoring 16 points and Delhi 14. This quarter saw three 3 pointers, two by homegirl Sonal and one by Delhi girl Mallika. The next quarter saw a superior game by Kanpur. The girls played in cohesion and put up a strong defense which forced a lot of errors out of Delhi. Kanpur’s Chanchala played an aggressive game, intercepting the ball in defense and cutting through the Delhi defense and scoring in offence. Kanpur’s Avani also chimed in causing a few turnovers and making some excellent passes. Kasturi did a good job at being the centre, taking up rebounds and shooting with accuracy. Two baskets by Kasturi along with two 3 pointers by Sonal again in this quarter helped Kanpur close the quarter at 30-23. Delhi closed the gap in the third quarter, by scoring 15 points and conceding just 8. Delhi’s Apoorva brought the situation under control by scoring three timely baskets which included one 3 pointer. Kanpur’s accuracy took a hit in this quarter with Delhi grabbing all the defensive rebounds. At 38-35 with Kanpur on the lead, Apoorva’s 3 pointer closed the third quarter at a level 38-38 . Things had started getting exciting by now. The last 10 minutes would decide who returns home with a medal and who does not. A few minutes into the final quarter, both teams scored a basket each to reach 40-40. This was closely followed by one basket from Delhi and two from Kanpur. With 30 seconds remaining in the game, and Delhi trailing 42-45 the referee declared a timeout. After play resumed, Delhi made a foul and an injured Chanchala got 2 foul shots out of which she bravely converted one and earned the crowd’s respect. This took the final points tally to 46-42 in favour of the home team.
The much awaited final of the religion of the nation was played at the ACES ground. Delhi won the toss and chose to bat first. The Delhi openers gave the team a steady start, as they had been for the tournament till date with their star batsmen, Moolchand, scoring 29 runs. The first fall of wicket for Delhi was when they were at 34 runs. The turning point of the match was when Vikrant from Kanpur scalped both Kumar Sahaj and Moolchand. Neeraj Meena was the highest scorer for the away team and overall with a score of 31 runs. At the end of 18 overs, Delhi had reached 102 runs. The 19 over, bowled by Nitin Sharma was a beauty, giving only 2 runs. Finally the target set by Delhi for Kanpur was 110 runs. Nicku Nitish and Vikrant, came in to bat but Kanpur lost Vikrant in the first over itself. After this shaky start, Nicku and Sanchit stabilised the innings with a 50 run partnership. After losing Nicku, Vaibhav Yadav, who scored a blazing 54 against Delhi when they faced each other the last time, came in. The match was safely in Kanpur’s hands at the end of the 16th over when they needed 18 runs of 24 balls. But then, Amit Meena’s run out and the unexpected loss of Nikhil Srivastava made it interesting. Finally, a four by Vaibhav saved the day and brought home the Gold for Kanpur.
The stage was set for the semifinals and Madras was Kanpur’s opponent. The match started with Madras edging ahead in the first few minutes but producing no clear cut opportunities. Kanpur hit back after that period with a free kick taken by Manish that resulted in a header similar to the last match. After that Kanpur started dominating the play, as Deepanker sent an excellent through ball for Saurav which he crossed and the goalkeeper somehow cleared. It went as far as Debojit who attempted an exquisite back heel shot but the keeper made a superb reflex save to parry it away.
Kanpur had their best chance when Deepanker’s shot somehow reached Debojit leaving him one on one with the goalkeeper 5 yards away from the goal but he shot it straight at the goalkeeper. The first half finished at 0-0 (thankfully for Madras), with Kanpur missing various guilt edged chances.
The second half began on the same note with Kanpur tearing the Madras defense with ease and yet another golden opportunity was created via a through ball of Mishra to Saurav which he tried to chip over the rushing goalkeeper but it was way off target. The rest of the second half continued with Kanpur having the major share of possession but were unable to break in as fatigue weighed in. 50 minutes finished with both teams level, although Kanpur players must have been kicking themselves for missing opportunities to score 3-4 goals. Both halfs of extra time were more of the same, a match between the Kanpur offence and Madras defense and it went to penalties.
Madras reached the penalties with the experience of having faced them in the last knockout match as well. The first 3 were scored by both the teams in clinical fashion but then somewhat similar to Luis Van Haal in Netherlands’ world cup quarter final, Madras coach substituted his goalkeeper. The 4th penalty was saved by the Kanpur goalkeeper as he dived acrobatically to the right corner. Then it all came down to the 5th Kanpur penalty with tremendous pressure on the Madras goalkeeper but he somehow made the save to take it further into sudden death. Kanpur scored 2 penalties under immense pressure and it paid off when the 7th Madras penalty was missed by Adarsh. Kaustubh took the last penalty and converted it emphatically, making the crowd euphoric. Hence leaving Kanpur on the verge of winning the Tournament.
Kanpur is now only one step away from the Men’s Hockey title as it beat Roorkee in the knockouts in a very close match. Everyone on the field looked determined as the audience anticipated a hell of a match. Kanpur scored as early as in the fifth minute of the game with an amazing flick by the captain from outside the D which was then converted into a goal by Rahul. Kanpur was not able to maintain their lead for long as Roorkee retaliated and scored in the eleventh minute. The half time was marked with a penalty corner being converted to a goal as the hosts once again were on the driving seat. Just when Roorkee was soaking in the last goal, Kanpur captain drove the ball from almost the half field with a final flick into the goal by Pramoth. Roorkee tried to level things with a successful Penalty stroke, which made the match more interesting. Chola and the goalkeeper of Roorkee played exceptionally well in the entire match. Roorkee’s game was mostly based on man marking which is quite a defensive one. The final score stood 3-2 as Kanpur inched closer to a well deserved win. The final match will be played against Delhi for the title.
Kanpur boys faced Madras in the finals today. Aneesh from Madras played against Sagar from Kanpur. Sagar was in full flow as he broke his opponent’s serve in the second game itself. Aneesh fought back in the fifth game, as he tried to break Sagar’s serve. The game saw two deuces. Sagar emerged victorious at the end with set score 4-1. In the seventh game, the score reached 15-40, giving Aneesh 2 break points. Sagar hit a double fault which broke his serve. The set score at 4-3. Sagar stuck back in the next game. The set score at 5-3. Sagar now served for the set. He won four easy points, winning the set 6-3. Sagar continued his flawless game in the second set. He broke Aneesh’s serve in the first game itself. Aneesh saved two break points in the third game and managed to hold his serve. Sagar held his serve in the next game bringing the score to 3-1 in his favour. Both of them broke their opponent’s serve, score being 4-2. They continued to hold their serves, bringing the set score to 5-3. Sagar now served for the match. He earned three match points. He hit a winner to convert the first match point, winning the match: 6-3, 6-4. The doubles match had the true essence of a championship final. The Kanpur duo returned like professionals. Sagar negated the serve as he smashed winners at regular intervals. Neither of the two pairs were able to hold their serves. Ankush had some really long cross court rallies. Kanpur managed to earn some crucial break points and took the lead. In the final game, Kanpur had two set points. The Madras player hit a double fault as Kanpur bagged the first set.
The madras pair was under intense pressure, as they had to win this set to stay in the championship. They made a strong start winning two quick games, taking the scoreboard to 2-0. But Kanpur duo showed resilience taking the scoreboard to 5-4. Madras was now serving to stay in the set. They managed to hold their serve as the scoreboard reached 5-5. Breaking Kanpur’s serve in the next game, Madras now served for the set. Kanpur broke into Madras’s serve taking it to a tie breaker. With the tie breaker at 6-4, Kanpur earned two championship points. The madras player committed a forced error down the baseline and Kanpur won the tennis trophy. Supporters rushed into the court and celebrated this moment.
Kanpur girls though were knocked out of the tournament earlier today. They lost to Madras in straight matches. Madras was just too good for the Kanpur girls, as they lost the points in the crucial moments of the match. Kanpur will face Delhi tomorrow for the bronze medal.
Kanpur clashed against Delhi in the final showdown of the squash meet. With a large audience involving the secretary of UP squash association, Dr. N.K. Pandey, Tizil of Kanpur and Abhimanyu of Delhi started the gameplay. The first set was an exciting one. Tizil initially led by 5-3 but conceded 6 straight points with scores standing at 5-9. He then scored 4 points in a row taking the scores to 9-9. The spectators were on their toes as both of them scored alternate points dragging the game to 14-14. Tizil finally pulled off the game by 16-14. Abhimanyu returned strongly winning the second game by 11-8. Both of them shared one game each of the next 2 games. In the decider set, Tizil outclassed Abhimanyu by 11-5, winning the match by 3-2.
The second match was no less action-packed than the first one. Both Vivek of Kanpur and Arijit of Delhi left the viewers dazed with their speed and accuracy. Vivek triumphed over Arijit in the initial game by 13-11. Arijit turned the tables in the next game winning it by 11-5. Third set was an absolute thriller. Delhi was on the verge of winning with scorecard reading 10-6. But Vivek scored 4 back to back points stretching game to deuce and winning it by 14-12. The next game ended 11-9 in Kanpur’s favour, leading them to a 3-1 victory in the match.
Thus, the duo of Tizil Saini and Vivek Dubey wrapped up the contest in just 2 matches by 2-0, claiming the title of the champions of the inter IIT squash meet 2016.
Today we saw both the men’s and women’s team of the home side go head to head against BHU and Roorkee respectively to grab a podium finish. The men’s team played amidst an exhilarated home crowd and showcased their best, leaving nothing to chance. The first set of the match kept everyone on their toes as the score was level till the very end, leading to a duece. The home team snatched two crucial consecutive points and emerged victorious with the score of 26-24. The second and third sets however, were relatively easy sailing with final scores being 25-15 and 25-18 respectively. BHU made some unforced errors in their service giving Kanpur a much needed lead in the second set. Needless to say, we witnessed an ample amount of flawless smashes, blocks and well timed drops from both teams. All of this lead the home team to a 3-0 set score and a gold for Kanpur.
The same morning, the women’s team had competed for bronze against Roorkee. It was a smooth win for the home team with the final set score of 3-0. The scores were 25-13, 25-17 and 25-16 in the first, second and third set respectively. Anisha from Kanpur displayed an exemplary performance.
All in all, it was a perfect day for the home side’s volleyball teams as they contributed valuable points in the general championship by bringing a gold and a bronze medal respectively. The team was brimming with positivity and enthusiasm post their glorious win.