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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 10 August 2022 2.29 AM IST

Kerala fields 67-member kalarippayattu team for Khelo India Youth Games

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KOCHI: Kerala expects to reap a big haul of medals in kalarippayattu, one of the five indigenous sports disciplines that will feature at the Khelo India Youth Games 2021 to be staged in Haryana from June 4.

The south-western coastal state has lined up a contingent of 67 athletes who will compete in kalarippayattu, the ancient martial arts which originated in Kerala and is believed to be over 3,000 years old. This is almost half of the total contingent of 159 athletes who will be representing the state in the Games along with a support staff of 57, including coaches, physios and officials.

“We finished 8th, 10th and 13th in the three previous editions of the event and we will try hard to better our rankings this time around. We are expecting quite a few medals in kalarippayattu for sure. We have held a few camps (5-10 days in duration) in various disciplines by way of preparation,” said Dr TI Manoj, Professor and Head, Department of Physical Education, Kerala Agricultural University, also the Chef de Mission of the contingent.

Kerala’s traditional strengths have been athletics, volleyball and football. In the 2020 edition, they won 10 out of their 15 overall gold medals in athletics and also topped the medal tally in the discipline with Ancy Sojan emerging as the star athlete of the games and its only triple gold medal winner.

The state hopes to fare well in athletics once again even though some of their star performers have withdrawn from the Games as it is off-season and are resting after a gruelling season of competition and training. Treesa Jolly, the doubles partner of Gayathri Gopichand in badminton, will also give the event a miss thus depriving the state of a potential medal.

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TAGS: KERALA, KALARIPPAYATTU, KHELO INDIA YOUTH GAMES, SPORTS
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