With its Alva’s College picking up stars from virtually all over the country, Mangalore University has emerged as a strong force in the National inter-university athletics championships.
The latest to join the strong gang is Tamil Nadu’s Praveen Chitravel, who won the boys triple jump bronze at Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires last month. Another Tamil Nadu athlete, Elakkiya Dasan helped Mangalore dominate the sprints and the relays last year.
This 79th edition of the National varsities championships begin at home, at the Alva’s Stadium here on Saturday, and this time Mangalore is expected to be stronger than ever.
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But Kottayam’s Mahatma Gandhi University, the women’s team champion last year, and Calicut hope to make life difficult for Mangalore. N. S. Simi, who clocked faster timings than the varsities national record in the women’s 100 and 200m at the recent MGU meet in Pala, quartermiler Jerin Joseph, high jumper Angel Devasia, and long jumper Muhammed Anees are some of the stars from Kerala universities who hope to make it big here.
Showing the way
Many of them will be hoping to an impact, like MGU quartermiler V. K. Vismaya did in Guntur late last year. The young girl made the most of the opportunity, joined the national camp and went on to anchor the Indian 4x400m relay team to gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta a couple of months ago.
With the Asian Championships in Doha coming up early next year, there is enough incentive for the promising athletes here.
The top stars will also be hoping to make the cut for the 2019 World University Games which will be held in Napoli in Italy in July. Nearly 4000 athletes from 268 universities will be in action in the five-day championships.