Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 1:
Of the 108 participants, twelve young athletes, including four girls, were shortlisted during Odisha state trial of the GAIL Indian Speedstar held at the Kalinga Stadium here today.
The shortlisted athletes will compete in the National Trials to be held in New Delhi next month.
The event was part of the initiative taken by National Yuva Cooperative Society (NYCS) as part of nationwide campaign to find out athletes for 2020/2024 Olympics, the organisers said in a release.
Budding talents from districts like Talcher, Jajpur, Ganjam, Cuttack, Khurda, Bhubaneswar and Sundergarh selected at the district trials participated in the event along with the shortlisted five wild card entrants who were selected a day prior to the state trials.
Among the 12 qualifiers, Ashish Mohapatra from Bhubaneswar and Sukhi Baskey, Sundergarh qualified in under-14 boys and girls group respectively in 100 meter’s category.
In 200 metre’s category in the same age group two boys Arbin Minz from Sundergarh and Rati Ranjan from Bhubaneswar and a girl Sukhi Baskey, Sundergarh qualified respectively.
In Under-17 group two boys; Kamakshya Naik from Cuttack and Bikash Kashyap from Bhubaneswar and a girl Raibari Tiria from Bhubaneswar qualified in 100 meters category.
In 200 metre’s category Kamakshya Naik from Cuttack, Krishna Munda from Bhubaneswar and Prasanjit Kujur from Cuttak qualified in under-17 boys group and Jyoshna Sabar from Bhubaneswar and Laxmi Muduli from Bhubaneswar qualified in under-17 girls group respectively, it said.
In 800 metres Roshan Minz from Cuttak qualified in under-17 category.
The event was graced by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, along with selection committee member and eminent sportsperson Anuradha Biswal and athletes Dutee Chand and Purnima Hembram. They also presented certificates and medals to those qualified for the National trials.
“This is a great initiative to promote young athletes from different parts of India. I believe that initiatives like this will not only nurture their hidden talent but also give them the right platform to prepare themselves for international competitions,” said Pradhan.
The shortlisted children from the state trials will now participate in the National camp and selection is slated to be held in May in New Delhi.
The top 9 athletes who meet the benchmark set by the National selection committee will be provided specialised training so as to prepare them for the 2020/2024 Olympics, the release said.
GAIL-Indian Speedstar is a CSR initiative by GAIL (India) Limited. It aims to spot, screen, select and groom young athletes in the age group of 11-17 years in 100m, 200m and 800m track events across the country.
The event was part of the nationwide campaign to find out athletes for Olympics.