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CM seeks people's cooperation for making Asian Athletics Championship a big success

 Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today joined "Pathotsav", a vehicle-free citizen initiative, to seek people's cooperation for making the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship being held here next month a success.

Patnaik attended Pathotsav, earlier known as 'Raahgiri Day', organised on the Janpath here as the state government chose the innovative initiative to promote and publicise the international sport event as part of its citizen connect drive.

Describing the upcoming sport event slated to be inaugurated here on July 5 as a glorious moment for Odisha, the chief minister said Bhubaneswar is fully prepared to host the mega event to be attended by players and delegates from 45 countries.

Seeking people's support and cooperation in making the upcoming event a grand success, Patnaik said the players and delegates should also be treated well.

The centre of attraction at Pathotsav was Olly, the official mascot for Asian Athletics Championship. A road show with mascot "Olly" for the Championship had earlier been flagged off by Naveen Patnaik here on June 12.

Two decorated vehicles carrying "Olly" turtle, depicting the endangered Olive Ridley turtles which throng Odisha's Gahirmatha beach for mass nesting, are covering all the district headquarter towns and cities of the state.

After criss-crossing the state, both the vehicles carrying the mascot are scheduled to arrive on July 2 at Kalinga Stadium here, the venue of the championship scheduled to be held from July six to nine.

Over 1,000 athletes from 45 countries are slated to take part in 42 disciplines in the Asian Athletics Championships, first of its kind being held in Odisha.

Earlier editions of the championships have been held in New Delhi (1989) and Pune (2013), making Bhubaneswar the third Indian city to host the flagship athletics event in Asia, sources said.

Merely three months ago, the State government was asked to host the event and it took up the ’90-Day challenge’ to transform the Kalinga Stadium to host the event after Ranchi pulled out at the last minute.

The multi-purpose Kalinga Stadium is being transformed to become a world-class track and field facility, meeting all the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) standards.

The biennial Asian Championships were first held in the outskirts of Manila in 1973. The 1977 event was cancelled by the IAAF due to political issues surrounding Israel's participation, and, consequently, were downgraded to title of "Asian Track and Field Meeting" from 1979-89. The People's Republic of China first competed in 1979.

This Championship was held in 1973 in Manila/Marikina (PHI), in 1975 Seoul (KOR), 1979-81 Tokyo (JPN), 1983 Kuwait City (KUW), 1985 Djakarta (INA), 1987 Singapore (SIN), 1989 New Delhi (IND), 1991 Kuala Lumpur (MAS), 1993 Manila (PHI), 1995 Djakarta (INA), 1998 Fukuoka (JPN), 2000 Djakarta (INA), 2002 Colombo (SRI), 2003 Manila (PHI), 2005 Incheon (KOR), 2007 Amman ( JOR) 2009 Gaunzhou (CHN) 2011 Kobe (JPN) 2013 Pune( IND) 2015 Wuhan   (CHN)

The championships will also serve as a qualifying event for the IAAF World Championships 2017 to be held in London in August.


Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.


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