Maharashtra, Kolhapur storm into Kho Kho nationals pre-quarters

Bemetara (Chhattisgarh)


 The Maharashtra mens and womens teams made their way into the pre-quarterfinals of the Chhattisgarh Amateur Kho Kho Association-organised 53rd Senior National Kho Kho Championships at Allons Public School Ground here on Saturday. Another team from Maharashtra, Kolhapur also qualified for pre-quarterfinals in both the mens and womens categories.

Defending champions Maharashtra men's team thrashed Uttar Pradesh 13-2 in a one-sided Group A match while the women's team defeated Chandigarh 14-7 in their Group A encounter.

Pratik Waikar and Mahesh Shinde played important roles in the men's victory. While Waikar defended for two minutes and scored two points in attack, Shinde defended for four minutes.

Reshma Rathod and Rupali Bade were impressive in the women's win. Both Reshma and Rupali defended for three minutes and also scored three points each in attack.

"This is a game that requires strength and agility. I started playing Kho Kho in the 80s. The game has changed over the years in terms of popularity. I am very impressed at the way the Nationals are being organised here," said Durgesh Madhav Awasthi, Director General of Police (Chhattisgarh), who was the guest of honour on Saturday. Awasthi is also a former national Kho Kho player who represented Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier, in the men's Group D match, riding on Abhijit Vasant's all-round show, the Kolhapur men's team outclassed Jharkhand 21-7. Abhijit defended for a total of six minutes (3min 30sec in first innings and 2min 30sec in second innings) and also scored three points in attack. Shruti Shinde played a key role in the Kolhapur women's team's dominating 28-2 win over Goa in a Group H match. Shruti defended for three minute 10 seconds and also scored two points in attack.

Karnataka and Gujarat also qualified for the pre-quarterfinals in both the men's and women's categories.IANS