IIT Delhi has made history by winning the General Championship at the 53rd Inter IIT Sports Meet held at IIT Guwahati. This is the first time since 1990 that the Delhi contingent was crowned champions. Apart from the GC, the team also bagged the trophy for the Men’s Championship and the March Past Trophy. The record this year has been nothing less than spectacular with the players bringing home six Gold, two silver and two bronze medals out of the 13 sports. Apart from these, the Squash and Lawn Tennis(men) teams bagged the fourth position.
Tally of the medals won
Position Scores contributed to the trophy
The inter IIT sports meet having been held since the year 1961, is the longest running Inter-collegiate meet where all the 23 sister IITs participate. Here are the words of some of the people who played a monumental role in making the dream of winning a reality.
ADHHAYAN BHANU (GENERAL SECRETARY, BSA):
What were the initial expectations and hopes before the contingent had set foot in Guwahati?
We were quite confident of the GC this time. For the past 2 years, we have had a great group of players but were not able to get through the semifinals which we did this time. Delhi has shown good performance in the different sports over the past few years. We were able to do it at the same time for all the sports this year. I was the lucky one I guess.
Was there a certain strategy that was followed this year?
Inter-IIT is a tricky thing. It is a 10 day meet in which it sometimes gets difficult for the players to be motivated to continuously perform well over the period of 2 weeks. We tried to get the contingent together to show them what the end result could be so that we get the best performance.
As compared to last year what were the changes that were made in the preparation of the teams this year? For the last few years, we had been focusing more on the sporting culture in the campus. This year my strategy was to focus more on the inter-IIT players in the odd sem. For this, we collected feedback from various captains to identify the problems in their respective teams which included the lack of regularity of senior players and the dedication of coaches. Changes were made accordingly.
What were the major difference in the performances of the teams of each sport this year?
There were major improvements in teams like basketball and football which had not been able to perform that well in the last few years. Other than that all our teams were gold medal contenders. On a different night, each team could have won the gold. It was also for the first time in years that all the teams were in the quarterfinals.
What have been the most memorable bits of this year?
I remember each team crying. Some cried after losing, some after winning but in the tears you could see the hard work that the players had put in. I know of people who have played with fractured bones. What else can you ask from your players as a leader?
The IIT Delhi contingent
CAPTAINS: (Shubham Rai – Cricket, Mallika Singla – Basketball, Aditya Sahdev – Badminton)
What were the initial expectations and hopes before the team had set foot in Guwahati?
SHUBHAM: Being the reigning champions, we had come here to defend our title in the most convincing way. MALLIKA: To get a medal. Our team hadn’t performed for the past 5 years now and hence it was all the more important to get a medal this time. Not only for the team but also for the GC. ADITYA: The team had worked really hard throughout the year. We were all positive about getting a podium finish in the tournament. We knew we were capable of beating all teams but were also nervous since the team was relatively new.
What do you think has played the major role in Delhi winning this year’s GC?
SHUBHAM: Unlike previous editions, we had a great bonding amongst the contingent this year. We supported and enjoyed each other’s success.
MALLIKA: I don’t think I can speak for everyone, but for basketball teams, it’s definitely the new coach.
ADITYA: All teams this year were really passionate about winning and at the same time, most teams had a great coach guiding them right from the first match. That has made a lot of difference.
Was there a certain strategy for the team this year?
SHUBHAM: We have always had great bowlers. This year too we had top class bowlers who are capable of defending any total and can give nightmares to any batting unit. All we needed was to put up a decent score to defend. MALLIKA: It was more about team discipline for us. Our team never had a dedicated coach or an answerable authority which has made the attitude a little casual. I think our primary strategy was to get rid of that. ADITYA: The coach had a game plan from us right from the start. He made a practice schedule that was suitable for everyone, and the players were all motivated right from the beginning of the semester.
As compared to last year, what were the changes that were made in the preparation of the team?
SHUBHAM: Last year we had many all-rounders in the team but this year we had specialists for each department. And as our seniors graduated, we had to include fresh faces in the team. In a squad of 16, there were as many as 7 debutants. MALLIKA: Organized practices, focused on fitness, workout and strength training. And obviously, the new coach. ADITYA: We had a similar approach in training as last year. At the same time, we tried to play more matches with new players by inviting them from other colleges like DTU. Also, we focussed on fitness a bit more than last year.
Are there any regrets?
SHUBHAM: The only regret is that the tournament is over.
MALLIKA: Couldn’t get the gold 🙈 ADITYA: We have been bagging the bronze medal in badminton since the last 3 years at the Inter-IIT, and we believe we are capable of winning the gold. I think that is one thing we regret – not being able to convert semi-finals.
What would you say was the mantra or mindset of you and the players this year?
SHUBHAM: We were confident and backed our abilities throughout the tournament. MALLIKA: It was my last Inter-IIT and I think my primary motivation came from how it was now or never. ADITYA: As I said, the players have all been very motivated since the beginning of this semester and have worked very hard around the year in order to grab a medal at the Inter-IIT. Coach sir has ensured that people stay motivated right from the beginning till the end.
How was Guwahati as a host?
SHUBHAM: This was one of worst organizing teams I have ever come across. There were no proper covers to deal with the rain, which is the 101 of hosting a cricket tournament. Also, the knockout schedule was too congested and there was no buffer day for rest.
MALLIKA: They definitely need to have a better set of referees and officials. Apart from that, I think it was a good experience. ADITYA: Guwahati has been a good host. They have a very good infrastructure for most sports. At the same time, the weather was pleasant and the campus is beautiful. The food was quite monotonous though.
What were the most enjoyable bits of this year?
ADITYA: Playing Inter-IIT is a great experience. Over the years, it has become very competitive making it very exciting. Cheering for other teams, playing and winning (and sometimes losing) tough matches is what makes it all very memorable. All this makes it worth the effort you put in throughout the year.
The IITs with most overall wins
We also reached out to the alumni and here is what they had to say:
ISHAN TYAGI( GENERAL SECRETARY, BSA(2016-17)):
What would you like to say about IIT Delhi’s win this year?
It’s a dream come true. Up until a few years ago, people would laugh off the idea of winning the GC. Most members of the contingent didn’t even know where the contingent finished last year or what they were aiming for this year. “Kuch 5-6th hi aate Hain hum har baar” used to be the lines. That humongous GC trophy seemed like it was made for a people of a different kind. This contingent has shattered all of that, it hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been about just one year but it’s been worth it. I say it for all seniors here that we’re immensely proud. There were 30-40 people watching each Insta/FB live stream of these matches. The alums are still very highly involved and very proud of this feat.
Do you think there is a certain reason why Delhi wasn’t able to get the GC in the past few years?
A lot of things go into winning the GC. You can never plan to win the GC for a certain year, no matter what your position might be. But it starts at AIMING to win the GC first. I think it’s a combination of institutional structure (student, staff and prof), infrastructure, culture and to a very high extent, luck as well. IITD used to face major blockades in some of these but faced them consistently. That was why we could never really win the GC. We were relying too much on the luck factor. But all things have been changing, we have a very pro sports administration, the captains and Gsec are more involved, they’ve started aiming for the medals and with that also comes a change in culture and now those efforts have finally started to show dividends. To point out some specific examples, we used to be perennially weak in sports like Swimming and Squash, simply because we were also lacking in terms of infrastructural facilities for a period. Which meant we used to start our tally with a trailing margin of 10-15 points. For Badminton too, we just had one court. It took a great effort and initiative from people like Dhriti, Dubey and Kothari to dream higher, put in the effort. Even if it meant travelling early morning to Talkatora or Siri Fort. To bring more organisation into the practice sessions. Then these guys built the ideas of absolute perfection into their teams, which was again a collective action that we didn’t have earlier. People like Deopuri, Sahaj, Birpali, Vedant, Adhhayan are good enough for the state/national level too. They started practising like it. And eventually, other sports pick up too, they get motivated by the people around. It either comes everywhere or it doesn’t.
Don’t judge them by the colour of their respective medals, it has been (and was always meant to be) a combined contingent effort.
Would you like to share a few words for the contingent and for BSA?
“It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success” – Lionel Messi You guys put in the effort, every day, without fail. You’ve set an example. You’ve drilled the belief into the future contingents. That it’s possible. And you’ve told it to your alums too. That dreams do come true. That belief is the first step. This is not just about sports, you’ve become winners in a lot of things. You’ve built that mentality. It comes handy everywhere. Let it sink in. Now comes the next part, ensure you pass it ahead. We’ve come a long way but the journey was sweet. Keep the journey going. Congratulations and all the best! We’re grateful to you and proud of you!
(Sorry if I missed any names)
ADWAIT SINGHAI(GENERAL SECRETARY(2015-16)):
Congratulations IIT Delhi contingent! We have waited so long (especially Negi sir :P) for winning the General Championship. You have fulfilled the aspirations of more than 17 generations of BSA IIT Delhi! Success comes to those who work their butt off. And I am sure every contingent member – the players, the coaches, the groundsmen, the support staff, everyone in the sports office has worked tremendously to make this possible.
To quote Muhammad Ali, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Trophies (especially the gigantic, glorious GC) and the medals sure look tempting but the biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it.To my fellow contingent members, life does not give you purpose, you give your life purpose. And definitely winning Inter IIT is one purpose that makes us happy. (Helps Ghost of your BSA seniors and Albert Camus in imagining Sisyphus happy)
And finally to my Football team-
We’re on our way, We’re on our way, We’re going to Guwahati, We’re on our way, How we get there we don’t care, All we know is we’re on our way…It’s coming home from there!
And for the next inter IIT, I am sure, “You are gonna eat lightning and crap thunder” (Rocky)
BHARTI SINGLA( GENERAL SECRETARY(2014-15)):
The win this year was most awaited and I feel the team worked really hard for this. This has not been just a few months of hard-work but years of team and talent building. Our coaches have truly put in great effort and finally built a legacy of sports culture at IIT Delhi. It has been 4 years since my last inter IIT but this win feels like a win for all of us!
I am most thrilled to see the athletics women’s team win the Athletics GC this year. Back in 2011, when I participated in my first inter IIT, we were just 3 girls in athletics team and had to request someone from basketball to join us for a 4*100 m relay. Today, the girls won both 4*100m and 4*400 m relay with an amazing baton exchange and coordination! The team and coach sir have done really well.
We would like to thank all the aforementioned people for sharing their views with us.
Article by: Parth Dhar, Ritvik Ranjan, Anukriti Yadav