Dedicate my first gold medal at Khelo India University Games to my family: Pole vaulter Siddharth AK
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh: Pole Vaulter Siddharth AK, studying BBA first year at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, won the gold medal with a games record in the men's pole vault event at the Khelo India University Games-2022 being organized for the first time in Uttar Pradesh. Siddharth has always been supported by his family in his pursuit of the sport and that is why he wants to dedicate his first KIUG Games medal to the family.
At the Guru Gobind Singh Sports College Campus, Siddhartha won the first position with a jump of 4.90m, while Kuldeep Kumar of Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University won the silver with a jump of 4.80m and M. Gautam of Madras University won the bronze with a jump of 4.80m.
Siddharth, who is participating in the Khelo India University Games for the second time, said, "I am very happy to make the Games Card. This is my first Khelo India University Games medal. In Bangalore, I could not win a medal due to injury and now I have won straight gold, and that too with a record. I have no words to describe this happiness. I would dedicate this medal to my parents, who have always supported my game."
The current national record in the pole vault is 5.31m, which Subramani Silva made during the 2022 National Games that was held in Gujarat. When asked about beating this record, Siddharth said, "I don't think about it. I just want to give my best. Will see what happens in the future. If I keep working hard, the result will automatically be better."
Siddharth measured a height of 4.40 meters for the first time in February 2019 at the India School Games held in Nadiad. He cleared over 4.50m in August and then went on to clear 4.80m at the India U20 Championships held in Trivandrum in September of the same year.
Siddharth said, "2019 was good for me. I gained confidence after I measured the height of 4.80 metres. But in 2020 my performance took a hit due to my injury. Then in September 2021, I measured a height of 4.85 meters at the Indian U23 Championships held in New Delhi. I measured above 4.85 meters thrice in 2022. In the Inter University Championship held at Mudbidri, I measured a height of 4.92 m, which is my personal best till date."
Siddharth, who cleared a height of 4.90 meters in the National Games held in Gujarat in October 2022, said his aim is to become the best pole vaulter in the country. Said Siddharth, "I want to become the best pole vaulter in the country and I want to represent India in the world meet. I am working hard for this and will continue to do so."
Siddharth believes that the Khelo India University Games is a great competition and brings out the best in athletes. Siddharth said, "I am always happy to participate in these games. All the amenities and facilities that are provided to athletes are very good. From nutrition to living, arrangements are excellent. I love Khelo India. The competition label is also good to be associated with. As far as I am concerned, I had set myself a target of 4.90 this year. This was my score in the National Games last year. Since I've been battling injuries for some time now, I consciously haven't set my bar too high."