KIUG 2023: Sakshi inspires Chandigarh University to clinch women’s kabaddi gold

Guwahati (Assam): Chandigarh University defeated Bharati Vidyapeeth in the final to win the gold medal in the 4th Khelo India University Games 2023 Ashtalakshmi, turning things around in the hard-fought encounter. As the women’s kabaddi final between Chandigarh University and Bharati Vidyapeeth headed towards a nail-biting finish, the instruction from Chandigarh skipper Sakshi Sharma started becoming precise and the players diligently followed them to perfection.

Chandigarh University made its KIUG debut in kabaddi in four years thanks to the leadership of Sakshi and went on to win the gold medal in their first appearance.

Sakshi, 21, who is originally from Himachal Pradesh and joined Chandigarh University last year to pursue an MA in English, has been instrumental in building a young team this year by leading from the front.

“We played two back-to-back close matches and in the final, we were quite confident that we could pull off the win despite the late surge from Bharti Vidyapeeth. It’s a testimony to the hard work of the entire team that we won the gold medal in our very first appearance in the competition,” said Sakshi, who had won the gold medal in the first edition of KIUG in Odisha with Himachal Pradesh University and a silver in the third edition in Uttar Pradesh.

Sakshi, whose father works as a lineman in the Himachal Pradesh Electricity department and has five siblings, hails from Sirmaur district, which has given many national and international kabaddi stars to the country and was inspired to take up the sport watching them.

She joined the Himachal Pradesh Sports Hostel in 2015 and hasn’t looked back.

At the KIUG this year, Sakshi picked up the bulk of raiding against all the opponents and then rallied her troops with clear-cut instructions during the opposition teams’ raid, to keep them at bay.

In the semifinal against Lalit Narayan Mithila University and again in the final, she brilliantly marshalled her troops with smart tactics to clinch a nail-biting 35-32 victory before breaking into a wild celebration.

Sakshi now aims to break into the Indian team and win a gold medal from the country in the Asian Games. And if the performance and leadership of Sakshi in this competition is any indication, her dream could become a reality soon.


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