Odisha To Host 40th Junior National Kho-Kho Championship

Bhubaneswar: The Junior National Kho-Kho Championship will be held at Biju Patnaik Indoor Stadium in Odisha capital from September 22 to 26.

Minister for Sports and Youth Services Tusharkanti Behera said, “The state is achieving excellence in traditional and indigenous sports like kho kho with a noteworthy performance at national championships, Khelo India Youth Games, and is the reigning champion in the sub-junior girls’ category. Hosting this event will give an additional impetus to the sport and will inspire young boys and girls to take up Kho Kho.”

Over 700 players from 60 teams participating from states and union territories will vie for the crown in the boys’ and girls’ category respectively in the championship. The teams have been divided into eight groups each for both boys and girls.

The competition will be held first in the group stages before the action moves to the knock-out rounds to decide the winners.

Host Odisha is drawn in Group D in the boys’ category, along with Karnataka, Bihar, MP and Meghalaya, while in the girls’ category, it placed in Group E, along with Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir.

The national championship will also serve as the qualifier for the 4th Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Panchkula (Haryana) next year.

This championship is being hosted by the Odisha Kho Kho Association, with support from the Sports and Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha, and KIIT (deemed University) and under the aegis of the Kho Kho Federation of India.

Kho Kho Federation of India, President, Sudhanshu Mittal said, “I thank the Government of Odisha and KIIT for extending their full support for the conduct of the championship for boys and girls at the Biju Patnaik Indoor Stadium. I welcome all the participants and look forward to pulsating action from the teams. Odisha has hosted world-class sporting events and I hope kho kho will also resonate with the sports fans in the state.”

Earlier, Odisha hosted the sub-junior national championships in 2016-17 at KIIT (deemed University).

This is a major national event amid the pandemic and all necessary precautions as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) of the Odisha government for prevention from COVID-19, are being taken, official sources said.

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