Sports and Athletics

Daden den, Teden ten!

My most memorable moments of the Sports’ Day ’07

This sports day will remain one of the most cherished episodes of my life. Those entire two days seem like a dream. Like an unforgettable book you read which impacts you so much you remember it all your life. Like one of the prized firsts: The moments of the first profession you made to a girl, the few hours of your first date, the few hours of your first successful job interview… the memories are that precious.

Genius entertains, mesmerizes and enthralls. But it’s the underdog which captures the imagination. There’s a special kind of euphoria associated with seeing someone down coming up with a stupendous performance which beats them all. Although books are written about geniuses, bookmarks are placed at the events where someone comes out of the blue and stumps everyone. Bookmarks in the book of your memory are also placed at the events which involve yourself. However ordinary those events and achievements may be, they’re yours and will be remembered by you, if none else.

Here’s a list of my most memorable events from the Sports’ day ’07. I haven’t mentioned any specific event of Nishanth or Chakrapani, as every single one of their efforts was special and will always be remembered. They make up the entire ‘book’ of memories. Here are the ‘bookmarks’.

5. Men’s 1500m: There were a thousand butterflies creating a deadly havoc in my stomach as I entered this race. This was the first event of the Sports day. We were 280 points behind Prithvi, and needed to cover up fast. I personally had anticipated that my doing well was essential for Agni winning (which turned out to be false, after all. Agni would still have won even without me!) and was a bit under pressure to perform here. The biggest worry were the muscle pulls in both my calves, due to which I had hardly had any practice in the past two weeks, and thus was short on both stamina and endurance. The pain from the pulls was still there despite endless massages and pain-relief sprays. Add to all this the fact that a medal from this most favorite event of mine had been eluding me for the past two years, the presence of the highest no. of athletes I’d ever seen for a 1500 race, and the gun not going off after two ‘on your marks’s, and you have an idea about the state my stomach was in as the race started.

5 minutes and 30 seconds later, I kissed the ground, tearful, as I finished some 11 seconds behind Chakri to clinch the silver. The first 4 rounds had been excruciatingly painful, and I had seriously contemplated quitting the race in the middle. But I had persevered, and in the end the ghosts of the past two years got buried. Most importantly, Agni covered 80 points from the race. The gap got reduced to 200 straight from 280 and now there was no doubt at all whatsoever as to who was going to lift the Overall Trophy. This race set the tone for a complete Agni rout of the track events.

4. Men’s 4×400 relay: The most painful memory from last year was not losing the overall trophy, but losing the 4×400 relay. ‘How could we have lost that race? We’re a house of runners. Losing a relay is like losing our identity, the unthinkable.’ These and similar thoughts had kept me awake on many a night this past year.

I decided to take the lead in this edition. Usually the captains/senior most athletes take the lead in relays for Agni. This was the test of captaincy material. And after my two laps, after I had handed over the baton to Jeetinder, I fell to the ground and looked at the track, completely spent. The Vayu athlete was still some 60m behind the finish line. I had given Jeetinder some 65-70 m lead. The race was well and truly over; the remainder of it but a formality. I lay back and gazed at the sky. The biggest wish for this sports day had just been fulfilled. I had performed my most wanton duty.

3. Men’s Shot Put: This was where another captain’s spirit shone. Last year’s record was 8.18m. Satya threw a huge 8.79 in his second attempt. Prudhvi, in his third attempt, let out a war-cry and threw the mother of all Shot Put throws that I’ve ever seen. A humongous 9.1m! My heart drooped, for I thought that Satya had missed his gold, but at the same time, there was a flood of appreciation, for this was probably the longest Shot Put IIIT had ever seen.

2. Men’s Triple Jump: There was no doubt at all whatsoever in anybody’s mind as to who will clinch the gold in this event. Nishanth was the favorite and he justified everyone’s belief by jumping a record breaking 11.20 m, with the two Rahuls coming in after him. This was when only 5 more athletes were left to finish their third attempt. The event was thought to be over.

This was till Suman’s last chance had not come. He had fouled in his first two attempts, but I’ve learnt to not give up hope wherever Suman is involved.

Suman ran in, and I drew a sigh of relief as he took a perfect hop from the start board. But wait, for the show had just begun! The longish hop was followed by a MASSIVE step, which landed our hero almost at the beginning of the sand pit! A huge leap then sealed the fate. Suman had jumped 11.32m! This was the mother of all Triple Jumps I’d seen in IIIT.

We’d routed the opposition in yet another event. Nishanth had begun his one-year-long wait to stake a claim at the Triple Jump gold.

1. Women’s 100m: Frankly speaking, I hadn’t expected Sunanda to win a gold in any event other than the 400m. And that’s exactly what makes the 100m race special.

After her coming 2nd in 400 and doing stupendously in girls’ 4×100, I persuaded Sunanda to run 100m. Still, I was betting on Priyanshu to retain her gold, and was hoping against hope that Sunanda beats either Prashasti or Manasi and comes third. The race started, and Sunanda was last at around 50m in the 6th lane, with Manasi leading the pack from the 5th. Priyanshu was doing her best to catch up, from the 2nd lane.

This was when magic happened. With nobody’s attention to her, Sunanda broke into a deadly run. Overtaking one athlete after another, she broke even with Manasi at around 85m. Manasi, who’d been looking over her left shoulder for Priyanshu, was visibly shocked as Sunanda shot ahead for a clear win. Priyanshu too, overtook Manasi in a photo finish to clinch the silver.

Sunanda didn’t stop screaming for around 10 minutes after that. And the hug that we shared after that was the longest and the tightest we have ever. This, and much more makes it the best and most memorable event of this sports day.

PS1: I dedicate my 1500 silver to Aditya. While I was doing my rounds, writhing in pain, he would just look at me in the eyes, and mutter something like ‘Go on, just 4 more left’. The amount of confidence he had in me gave me a lot of strength during the race. Among the most encouraging seniors I’ve ever had, Aditya played a major role in me finishing that race.

PS2: Now that the Sports Day is behind us, I’d suggest you to take a look at this .This was my list of the Top 10 athletes in IIIT. Also go through the comments. I think you’ll get to draw some interesting parrallels, now that the Sports Day is over.

PS3: These are my most memorable events. Would be delighted if someone else comes up here with their own.

PS4: Why am I writing this??? Haven’t played for a month now what with the injury I carried into the sports day having completely screwed both my feet after 2 days of incessant running and running around. Am getting frustoo just sitting around. Maybe I’ll play soon. Amen.

Categories: IIIT, Incidences, Sports and Athletics | 16 Comments

10 Best Atheletes I’ve seen in IIIT

Was planning to hold this post till after the sports’ day, but Himank’s post made me kinda senty. Tomorrow’s POPL end sem xam and look at what I’m doing. Grr.

I’ve been on the IIIT sports scene for some time now. Being more of an athlete than a sportsman in general, I’ve often felt that we athletes don’t get our due credit (except in terms of house points, of course :P). Here I’m attempting to make a list of the best (my favourite atleast!!) athletes that I’ve seen in IIIT. They include people from UG and PG 2k3 onwards, as I never saw the previous batches at athletics.

My criteria is of course excellence in athletics, and the cut-off requirement is being a dynamic athlete, as in one who is good at several things. People excellent in a single discipline and non-existent in all the others have not been included in this list. Also, since we’re talking of dynamism, and also because it’s difficult to compare some athletes, I’ve also included the ability at sports to distinguish between cases where a clearcut distinction could not be made. Also, people who I think are extremely dynamic in sports have made it to the list, even if they haven’t proven themselves on the athletic field as such. So here’s the list, bottom’s up.

10. Prudhvi Vatala (UG2k5): One of the most enthusiastic and involved sportspersons I’ve seen in IIIT. Again, makes it to the list more on the basis of dynamism in sports. Would be the captain of IIIT Volleyball team today. Also keeps the goal and the wickets. His devastating run in last year’s 4×400 relays cost Agni the gold for the time in recent memory. Extra points to him on involvement and dedication to sports.

9. B. Varun (UG2k4): This six-and-a half footer giant is not an athlete, but he makes it to the list on sheer dynamism in sports. Has been the mainstay of IIIT cricket team after Joon. Also played Basketball for the college even in ‘the basketball era’, so naturally must still be the best basketball player in his position today. He also would make it to the college Volleyball team, if one were to be formed today. And of course, he reserves that Gold Medal in Discuss Throw. Wow!

8. V.V. Harish Baba(UG2k3): From here onwards, it’s more about athletics. Figures kinda low on the list, as I’ve put more money on dynamism, rather than excellence in any one discipline.

Baba was the champ in last year’s 400, 800 and 1500m races. Also led Prithvi to gold in 4×400. Could run shorter races as well as the longer ones. Some one aptly named him ‘The running man.’ But didn’t excel as much in any other discipline.

7. K Aditya(UG2k3): Another UG2k3ian, and a huge source of inspiration, and the man mainly responsible for the horde of athletes Agni has produced every year after him. Equally good in runs and jumps, and has a very good athletic mind. Played cricket, football and basketball, too.

6. S. Rahul(UG2k4):
Has practically been the lone warrior from Vayu boys on sports days for the last 2 occasions. An allrounder, who runs well, jumps well, throws well, plays cricket and football, inspires and guides his house. Makes it to the list several notches above many people, for his ‘lone warrior’ quality.

5. K. Rahul(PG2k6): First PGite to make this list. A perfect gentleman, a good long distance runner and long jumper, he plays almost all the sports played in IIIT. The best defender in football, an extremely swift fielder in cricket and a good spiker as well. His grit in the Agni-Prithvi last cricket league match took everyone by surprise. And whatever Hockey I’ve seen in IIIT, nobody had better ball control and passing than him.

4. Naga satish(UG2k6): One of the best of the lot right now. Runs at amazing speed, and jumps well. But what makes him stand out is, his dynamism on the field. In my opinion, he’s the one who can take Raja’s place in IIIT football. Plays Volleyball, Basketball, cricket, TT…!!! a complete sportsman. The brightest player by far for the next few years.

3. Suman V.N.(PG2k6): If it’s my list, it’s impossible not to include Suman. This JNTU graduate has changed my general opinion of PGites in our institute, and from a House Sports Captain’s point of view, he’s a dream player. I can always count on him, and I seriously that think he can play almost all sports played in IIIT at almost all positions. The best footballer that we have right now, very accurate in Volleyball, and kept wickets for the winning Agni team, too. Right now fancying TT. And yeah, since it’s an athletes’ list, let me add that he can run fast, run long, and jump far too. :O!

2. M. Nishanth Reddy(UG2k6): I don’t have enough superlatives for this extremely gentle fellow from Nalgonda. His athleticism never ceases to amaze me. Seems he can do anything with his body. Is the fastest runner that IIIT has seen. Has an god-like hop in Triple jump, and can go on running the whole day. I’ve seen and run with national level athletes, and this guy is in their league; a cut above the present IIIT athletes. Also bowls with a superb line and length, good enough to make it to the college team, I think. Also the mainstay of Agni Volleyball team this year.

1. No prizes for guessing, the best is RAJA!
The best footballer, probably ever, to walk into IIIT. And also overall the best athlete, superior than any I’ve seen in IIIT so far. While he was there, it was difficult to imagine that Raja could take a step wrong. Why, he could manage the entire off-side field single handedly! And steal passes at will from even experienced basketball players! Not to mention his 3 consecutive best athlete awards in our sports meets. Swift as a hare and strong as a bull, I suspect he could’ve been as good a thrower as he was a runner and jumper had he only tried. Without a doubt, the best athlete IIIT has produced so far.

PS1: I just realized that the top 3 athletes in this list are agniites. I admit being an agniite and a footballer, I could be biased, although rest assured that I’ve tried my best not to be.
PS2: Choosing 10 people was a very tough job. My apologies to anyone who doesn’t agree with this list, but these are my personal favourites. I guess the next 10 people could include Abhilash, Kabeer, Mahaveer, Chakrapani (UG2k5), Kochar, Pandey, Joy, Rathi, Chinni, Avinash (UG2k4), Arun, Manish Jain (UG2k3), Sagar, Arpit, Ejaz, Manish Jha, Shubham (UG2k6) and some others too.
PS3: It was particularly difficult not to include Mahaveer, Abhilash, Kabeer and Kochar in this list. I guess they’re the next 4 people.
PS4: None from UG2k7 has made it to this list. Let’s wait till the sports day to see what we have this year.
PS5: Once Again sorry if I missed out on any deserving athlete. Do comment and tell me if I have.
PS6: No more PSs.

Categories: IIIT, Sports and Athletics | 29 Comments


Date: 6th of October, 2006

Time: 5:15 in the evening

Venue: The Football Ground, IIIT-H

Event: Inter-house league match between Agni and Aakash

Atmosphere: Extremely charged. Literally buzzing with cations and anions.

Description: Kabeer Singh Bedi, of Aakash house, in possession of the ball, advancing from the right flank, towards the Agni goalpost. Inder Rishi Singh Kochar, one of the best booters around, advancing rapidly from center to give him company.(Hell, they’re at their 1-2-1-2 again). The Agni defenders, Supreet, Aniket and Tipo have been left behind.(Tipo is at the far corner anyways). Only Manish Jain, the ever so reliable Agni goalkeeper is in the way of the two charging sardars, but even he looks edgy.Supreet is running, Aniket is running harder and panting, let’s see if they can catch up with the Aakash forwards…
…Kochar passes the ball to Kabeer, and at the same time, Aniket catches up with Kabeer from behind. Kabeer contemplates a pass to Kochar, and Aniket tackles him at the same time, but unsuccessfully. The ball stays with Kabeer. He’s now about 20 yards from the post now, in possession of the ball, and charging, but with Aniket in company now, who’s trying his level best to outdo the wit and agility of one of the best forwards in IIIT.

They’re now about 15 yards from the post, and Aniket tackles Kabeer with a deft shoulder push, which only unbalances Kabeer sightly, but for enough time for Aniket to have a boot at the ball, and Aniket pushes it in direction of Manish, the goal keeper, and the ball’s been chipped!

The ball’s been chipped, and it’s sailing, and Manish is standing under it, and the ball’s sailing…sailed above Manish’s head, and INTO THE GOALPOST! IT’S A GOAL! Aniket scores, but scores for AAKASH! it’s a goal! It’s a bloody SELF-GOAL! And Aniket is down, he’s on the ground, I repeat, Aniket is ON THE GROUND! He can’t believe it. The match against Aakash house last year, in which he had tackled kabeer so beautifully, had consolidated his postion in the team, and now he’s a villain! He’s down, and manish has rushed to console him, but he’s inconsolable…Aniket is INCONSOLABLE…

So ppl, this is a piece of commentary of the Agni Aakash match, in which probably the only self goal in the sporting history of IIIT was scored. And i have the dubious distinction of scoring it. Alankar, Kochar, Kabeer, Khatri etc. thanked me after the match, and offered to buy me a packet of Marlboros. Shukla was shaking his head in his customary ‘Kya Be…Saalle’, Rahul was grinning at me…

Only the Agni team behaved beautifully. Well, they’re the champions.

Manish tried his level best to convince me that the goal was all his fault, and not mine. Raja, Aditya etc. all congratulated me on having an otherwise excellent game.(Come to think of it, barring the self-goal, it WAS the best match I’d played for agni). They didn’t substitute me, even after the self goal…Their support encouraged me, and I played the next match against Prithvi, brimming with confidence, even after having a bad cold, and tackled the likes of Arjun and Dash well, and we drew that match. As for now, we’re in the finals, which will hopefully be against Aakash. And this time, I’ve promised myself, there won’t be any self goals…

Categories: IIIT, Incidences, Sports and Athletics | 7 Comments

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