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Tokyo Olympics: In a first, 3 athletes from KIIT University in Odisha qualify for the Games

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In a first, 3 athletes, sprinter Dutee Chand, fencer Bhavani Devi and javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, all from Odisha-based KIIT deemed University have qualified for the Tokyo Games, scheduled to get underway from July 23.
KIIT University is the only University in India to send three athletes and one official, a doctor, to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Besides 3 athletes from KIIT, Odisha is sending 3 more hockey players to the much-anticipated Games.

Talking to India Today, sprinter and student of KIIT Law, Dutee Chand said: “I will represent India for the second Olympic Games in a row. I will be competing in the 100 metres and 200 metres, I have been preparing hard for this Olympics. Recently I have created a new national record and broke my own record clocking 11.7 seconds at the Indian grand prix 4 in Patiala.

“I am hopeful I will qualify for the semi-final and also bring a medal and make my country proud. I am thankful to the Odisha government and Founder of KIIT Achyuta Samanta for their continuous support.”

“It is a different time due to the pandemic, the athletes will have to stay in quarantine for five days after reaching Tokyo and rigorous testing will somewhat affect preparedness, however it won’t get our morale down, I am hopeful in giving my hundred percent,” Dutee added.

Notably, the Odisha government and KIIT University have been working in building world class sports facilities. With the support of the Odisha government, the state has turned into the sporting capital of the country with state of art infrastructure,

The construction of India’s largest Hockey Stadium in Rourkela is in full swing to host the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup.

The Odisha government’s groundbreaking deal with Hockey India was unprecedented in the Indian sporting arena — a state was sponsoring national hockey teams (Men and women). With the deal, the state government will pay Rs 120 crore in 5 years beginning from 2018 to Hockey India.

Lok Sabha MP from Kandhamal and KIIT Founder Dr Achyuta Samant told India Today: “KIIT and KISS have been able to achieve such unique distinction as they have been promoting sports and games in a big way among the students since its inception. KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Science) has produced over 5000 sports talents at the state, national and international level, which includes medal winners for the country at international sports meets like Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

CA Bhavani Devi is the first Indian fencer to ever qualify for Olympics, she made history by becoming the first Indian to win a Gold medal at the senior commonwealth fencing championship in Australia in 2018.

Meanwhile, javelin thrower, Shivpal singh who will be representing India along with star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra said: “We are hundred ten percent sure India will get a medal in javelin at the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

The felicitation ceremony at KIIT Campus was attended by Odisha Sports Minister Tushar Kanti Behera and all three athletes.

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