Ahead of the opening ceremony of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described it as a historic day for Odisha.
The chief minister said he is looking forward to the grand opening ceremony and events. The Asian Athletics Championships (AAC)’s 22nd edition, the biggest international sporting extravaganza to be hosted by Odisha, will roll out in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
Bhubaneswar is poised to host the championship with arrival of dignitaries like Sebastian Coe, president, International Association of Athletic Federations, Dahlan Al-Hamad, president, Asian Athletic Association, Adille Sumariwalla, president, Athletic Federation of India, C K Valson, secretary, AFI and India’s popular sportswoman PT Usha.
When 800-odd athletes from 45 nations troop out in the ceremonial march past in the dazzling Kalinga Stadium on Wednesday evening, the State would have scripted a sporting history of sorts.
Sports and Youth Affairs secretary Vishal Dev said utmost care has been taken for accommodation and transportation. There is complete preparedness for safety and rescue operations. About 500 volunteers have been mobilised from colleges, medical and management institutes, besides sports specific volunteers, he said.
The State Government has already announced a half-day holiday for the inaugural ceremony.