Lucknow: A TOPS development athlete who has won two gold and one bronze in her five appearances at the Khelo India Youth Games, Haryana archer Riddhi Phore, who hails from Karnal is thrilled to participate in her first Khelo India University Games (KIUG). The Khelo India University Games 2022 is being hosted by the state of Uttar Pradesh across four cities viz; Lucknow, Varanasi, Gorakhpur & Gautam Buddh Nagar.
Riddhi, who is pursuing her BA second year at Haryana’s Kurukshetra University, and would reach Lucknow by May 28, is excited about her maiden participation in the Khelo India University Games 2022 Uttar Pradesh. Her aim is to use the games as a platform to prepare for the Asia Cup that is scheduled to be held in Singapore from June 5th later this year. Riddhi said, “I am very excited about participating in my first KIUG. It feels like I’ve grown up and school is a thing of the past. Now I am going to participate and compete with adults. Archery is not new to me and I would like to use this platform to prepare myself for the Asia Cup.”
The good thing for Riddhi, who made it to the Target Olympic Podium Scheme list during the Tokyo Olympics camp in 2021, is that the entire women’s team from Kurukshetra University has qualified. The team comprises four girls and will compete in individual and team events. Talking about her preparations, Riddhi, who is practicing at SAI National Centre of Excellence in Sonepat, said, “Due to a shoulder injury, I could not perform well in the All-India Inter University Games held in Bhatinda, but now I want to make up for that in Lucknow at the Khelo India University Games 2022 Uttar Pradesh.”
On being asked about her expectations on the level of competition in her maiden participation in KIUG, Riddhi said, “I know that only those who have participated in the nationals will be seen competing here. Participants will come from all over India but as someone who has represented India internationally, I am not concerned about the level of competition, I just think about my performance and prepare accordingly.”
Riddhi, who practices for 7 to 8 hours daily, has also played for the senior national team of India. Last year, she played in the Junior Asia Cup held in Phuket in February, where she finished with two silver medals (mixed team and team). After that Riddhi competed at the Senior National from Haryana in March 2022, where she won Gold. After this, she attended the trials for the Asian Games in SAI Sonepat.
Regarding Khelo India University Games, Riddhi said, “Be it Khelo India Youth Games or University Games – every sporting discipline behind whom the games name is attached, the sport automatically becomes bigger. As far as I am concerned, this platform is new for me but the atmosphere here will not be new as I have played five times in the Khelo India Youth Games. I want to use this great platform to raise the level of my game and like always, win Gold.”