by Rajaram Suresh
The recently concluded IIT Madras Annual SportsFest, 2012 turned out to be a successful one for IITM. Spanning over a week and across the different stadiums of the institute, the sports festival witnessed a participation of more than 50 teams. Notably, for IITM, the SportsFest is the final tournament before the Inter IIT and is regarded as a much needed warm-up tournament before the final frontier.
Expectations were running high from the last year’s Inter IIT champions, and they didn’t disappoint.
There were no surprises regarding Badminton as they clinched the Gold and Silver in Men’s and Women’s respectively. In a pool of 12 teams, IITM ‘A’ (Men) romped home with a Gold medal with Set scores of 3-0, 3-1 and 3-0. The IITM ‘B’ team had a mixed outing, with losses to IITM ‘A’ and victories in the knockout stages and finally managing the Fourth place after a tight finish against Bharath University.
The Cricket team was a revelation as they eclipsed their poor outing in the previous Inter IIT with stellar performances in the SportsFest. Naagarajan smashed consecutive fifties in the league matches to propel the team into the Semi Final, where U Varuun scalped 6 wickets to spin their way to the finals. The batsmen chased down the meagre target set by the Ramanujar college batsmen in the finals with 6 wickets to spare thereby bagging the Gold without any threat from the opposition.
The Weightlifters lived up to the tag of title-defenders, as they shone with notable individual performances, bagging four medals collectively. Sabarish and Isi secured Gold in the Under-66 and Under-77 category, while Chinmay and Balaji managed a Bronze in the Under-62 and Under-56 categories respectively. It was a hard fought victory over Velammal College, with very little separating the two teams.
The Tennis team added to the medal tally with a Bronze. In a total pool of 7 teams, Dheeraj Vasudevan Athindran and Shankar together helped IITM ‘A’ into the top three, but T.P Kiran of IITM ‘B’ suffered a shock defeat, failing to capitalize on the advantage of 6 match points.
The Table Tennis team had a good tournament with an even better success rate, with both the Men’s teams breaking into the top three and securing Silver and Bronze medals, respectively.
“It was not surprising, given their track record of 5 consecutive Gold medals in past Inter IITs,” said Snehil Pandey, Sports Secretary of IITM.
The Football teams had a lukewarm outing, but with some notable moments. Goalkeeper Tiyash of IITM ‘B’ stole the show in the knockout stages with three spectacular saves in the penalty shootout to win the match for his team. With either of the teams making it to the top three, there was much left to be desired.
The Basketball leg of the tournament started a week later wherein Men and Women from IITM tasted success, with Silver and Bronze respectively. Though the Men’s team pushed aside Bharath University with scores of 33-6 en route to the finals, they were on the losing side in a well-fought final. The Women’s team had an equally tight third place playoff and emerged victorious. Players like Avniash, Vishnu and Vennela contributed handsomely to the scoreboard.
When asked about this year’s sportefest, Snehil has a lot to say. “The SportsFest 2012 couldn’t have been this successful without the guidance and assistance of our P.T.I, Mr.Raavanan. Also a couple of new things were introduced in this year’s fest. The Cricket Team played for the first time in the SportsFest and needless to say, we are proud of their victory. There were awards for the ‘Best Goalkeeper’ and ‘Best Striker’ in Football, which recognized individual talent.”
The Volleyball team and the Hockey team both placed fourth, leaving a little more to be desired in these departments. Overall, the SportsFest 2012 shaped up to be a big success, with healthy competition between teams. When asked about what IITM takes back from the fest, “A lot of medals, lot more positives and a truckload of confidence as we gear up for the upcoming Inter IIT in Roorkee,” signs off Snehil.