New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) Commonwealth Games 2022 silver medalist Bidyarani Devi, Harshada Garud, Akanksha Vyavahare and Soumya Dalvi are some of the weightlifters set to compete in Phase 2 of the Khelo India Women’s Weightlifting League National Ranking Youth, Junior & Senior Tournament, scheduled to start October 27 in Ghaziabad and Noida.
All the above-mentioned athletes are a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and will be favourites for gold medals in this event which will end on November 2.
Organised by the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) and supported by the Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the league will be organised across three age groups: Senior (15 years and above), Junior (15-20 years) and Youth (13-17 years).
The total amount of support put forward by the Govt of India to conduct the Khelo India league across all editions is Rs 1.88 crore, which includes a total cash prize of Rs 48.3 Lakh to the top 8 ranked weightlifters across 10 weight categories in all age groups.
The conduct of the league has also been approved in principle for a total of four years, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) informed in a release on Tuesday.
A total of around 450 weightlifters are expected to compete in Phase 2 of the event, scheduled at the RN Resort, Modinagar, Ghaziabad. Phase 1 of the league was held in Himachal Pradesh in June this year, where Commonwealth Games 2022 gold medallist Mirabai Chanu won the gold in the 49 kg category.
Bindyarani Devi and Harshada Garud were also gold medallists in Phase 1 of the league in the 55kg and 45kg categories respectively. With Phase 2 of the league being held in Noida, most of the weightlifters competing belong to SAI National Centers of Excellence Patiala, Lucknow and Aurangabad.
The Khelo India Women’s league is yet another endeavour by Khelo India’s Sports for Women component, which takes the most necessary steps to encourage more female participation in a wide array of sports competitions. The support extends to not only giving grants but also helping in the proper organisation and execution of the events.