Bhubaneswar, Odisha’s capital city, is all set to host the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships– Asia’s flagship athletics meet.
Here are some quintessential things to know about the mega sporting extravaganza before it kicks off.
Venue and Date: The 22nd Asian Athletics Championships is scheduled to be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from July 6 to 9. The inauguration ceremony will take place on July 5.
Mascot: Olly Turtle. It 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.
Through this meet, the state government will be contributing towards raising awareness for protection of the endangered species and preserving their natural habitat.
Importance of the event: More than 700 athletes from around 45 countries would participate in 42 events— 21 for men and 21 for women.
This is for the third time that the Asian Athletics Championships will be held in India, after New Delhi (1989) and Pune (2013).
The winners of the Asian meet will get a direct berth for the World Championships in London from August 4 to 13.
Transformation of Kalinga Stadium: Merely three months ago, the Odisha government was asked to host the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships in its capital city Bhubaneswar.
Realising a mammoth task at hand, the state government rose to the occasion and took up the ’90-Day challenge’ to transform the Kalinga Stadium here for the international sporting event within three months.
With a complete international makeover, the stadium is now studded with Olympic-level synthetic track, latest player facilities, state-of-the-art lighting systems, practice ground and tracks and spectator arrangements.
Witness the remarkable transformation of the stadium in the video released by the state government:
Odia athletes: Five athletes from Odisha have found place in the 95-member Indian contingent for the Asian Athletics Championships.
They are Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Amiya Mallick, Purnima Hembram and Jauna Murmu.
While Amiya, Srabani and Dutee will be competing in 100 metre, 200 metre and 4×100 metre relay events, Jauna will compete in 400 metre hurdles and Purnima will compete in heptathlon event.
Tickets: Online tickets for the mega sporting event are available at www.eventsnow.com/bhubaneshwar/asian-athletics-championship
The tickets are available for morning and evening sessions separately.
The price for each online ticket has been fixed at Rs 50 with an internet handling fees of Rs 10 for each ticket.
For the entire competition schedule of the meet, click here.