Bhubaneswar: After completion of statewide roadshows for the Asian Athletics Championships-2017 (AAC), ‘Olly’ Turtle– the mascot of the sporting event– returned Bhubaneswar and met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here today.
Patnaik welcomed Olly with a flower bouquet at the Secretariat.
Notably, the CM had flagged off the roadshow vehicles carrying the mascot at Kalinga Stadium here on June 12.
The vehicles covered all the district headquarters and cities of Odisha to generate awareness amongst the masses and create a sense of belongingness to the championships.
Worth mentioning, Olly represents the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that travel thousands of miles in the ocean and arrive in millions every year on Odisha’s Rushikulya and Gahirmatha beaches for their annual nesting.
The 22nd Asian Athletics Championships is scheduled to be held at the Kalinga Stadium here from July 6 to 9.
More than 700 athletes from around 45 countries would participate in 42 events— 21 for men and 21 for women.
Through this meet, the state government will be contributing towards raising awareness for protection of the endangered species and preserving their natural habitat.
This is for the third time that the Asian Athletics Championships will be held in India, after New Delhi (1989) and Pune (2013).
The 22nd edition of Asia’s flagship Athletics meet will be a qualifying event for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in London.