Men's, Women's Kho Kho teams for South Asian Games announced

Kho Kho was included in the South Asian Games for the first time in 2016 with India managing consistent performances in the event since.

The Indian men's and women's team, both defending champions in the tournament, will be aiming to repeat their gold medal-winning performances in Kathmandu. (Representative image)   -  T. VIJAYA KUMAR

Kho Kho Federation of India on Friday announced a 15-member men’s and women’s team for the 13th South Asian Games, scheduled to begin from December 1 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

After inclusion of kho kho in the South Asian Games for the first time in 2016, both the Indian men’s and women’s team finished at the top of the podium.

The defending champions will be aiming to repeat their gold medal-winning performances in Kathmandu.

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After some good performances in the recently-concluded test matches against Nepal, both the teams are heading to the competition with a boost in their confidence.

Maharashtra’s Balasaheb Pokarde will lead the men’s team in the competition.

“We have focused on getting a very balanced team for the Games. I think we are strong on both ends of the mat and have a good team combination. I am confident that we are going to give our best and win the (gold) medal again,” said Pokarde, who played a crucial role in the team’s gold winning performance.

Meanwhile, women’s team skipper Nasreen is wary of the challenges that the home team may pose.

“We have practiced really hard for last one month. I believe we are a strong team heading into the competition. Since the competition is in Nepal, Nepal will surely pose some challenge but I believe we are prepared well to give our best and defend the title.”

Teams:

Men: Balasaheb Pokarde (captain), Raju Buchannagari, Sagar Potdar, Shreyas Raul, Akshay Ganpule, Sudarshan, Deepak Madhav, Abhinandan Patil, Satyajit Singh, Suresh Sawant, Muneerbasha Ahamadjohn, Dhanwin Khopkar, Sibin Mailankil, Jagdev Singh, Tapan Paul.

Women: Nasreen (captain), Kajal Bhor, Priyanka Bhopi, Aishwarya Sawant, Pornima Sakpal, Krishna Yadav, Nikita Pawar, Apeksha Sutar, Sasmita Sharma, Eshita Biswas, Mukesh, Maya, Parveen Nisha, Kalaivani Kathirkaman, Nancy Jain.