Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 31:
The practice camp for the GAIL – Indian Speedstar state trial commenced today at Kalinga Stadium in Odisha capital for the 113 qualified participants who will take part in the state selection race scheduled tomorrow.
The participants at the camp underwent brief training session by ace Indian athlete and Olympian Anuradha Biswal and Asian Games medalist Purnima Hembram who provided useful tips on stress management, right physical posturing at starting point to the budding athletes. Special sessions were also conducted on physiotherapy training, training on mental strength boosting, how to lead stress-free mental condition and overcoming nervousness as well as demonstration of correct racing postures etc.
Among others, G. S. Raju, State Sports Coordinator, Hiranya Mohanty, National Project Director, GAIL Raftaar, Rajesh Tripathy, State Coordinator, GAIL Raftaar and officials from National Yuva Co-operative Society were present at the practice camp.
Earlier in the day, trials were conducted for the wild card participants who had missed out the opportunity to participate in the district level trials held in February. The trials for wild card participants started at Kalinga Stadium today morning and witnessed brisk participation of budding athletes from Bhubaneswar and neighboring districts. Five athletes qualified through wild card trials for the State selection race slated for tomorrow, wherein they will participate along with the 108 shortlisted athletes at the district trials held earlier in six districts of the State at Kalinga Stadium here.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is slated to grace the state selection race along with Olympian Anuradha Biswal, ace Indian athletes Dutee Chand and Purnima Hembram. The state selection race is scheduled to begin at 7 AM tomorrow at Kalinga Stadium here.
It may be noted here that, at initial stage of selection process, trials at district level were conducted under the guidance of coaches and selectors appointed by the committee and selection will be based on talent identification and criteria set by the committee. A total of 2696 children participated from different districts of Odisha like Angul, Jajpur, Ganjam, Cuttack, Khurda and Sundergarh. Out of these participants, 108 kids had qualified for the state level trials.
The first State level camp and trial was organized on February 27-28 in Jaipur, Rajasthan where 60 boys and girls participated out of which 4 have qualified for the next level. The remaining state trials will be held in Kerala, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, New Delhi and Gujarat in this month. The shortlisted children from the State trials will then participate in the National camp and selection which is scheduled to be held in May 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. The top 9 athletes who meet the benchmark set by the National selection committee headed by the legendary PT Usha with the other members being Olympians Rachita Mistry, Anuradha Biswal and Asian and Commonwealth Games medalist, Kavita Raut, will be provided specialized training so as to prepare them for the 2020/2024 Olympics.