Mega event in Odisha’s Sport History; 22nd Asian Athletic Championship opened

State has proved its efficiency in organising the event said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: 22nd Asian Athletic Championship, mega event in Odisha Sports History has been opened this evening. Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha has declared the event opened. Shri Patnaik said that State has proved its efficiency and preparedness by completing this sort of infrastructure of International Standard within a record period of 90days only. He said that this is a historic moment through which Odisha will be known throughout the world, starting from its glorious maritime heritage to present day development.

Other dignitaries including Shri Chandra Sarthi Behera, Hon’ble Minister of Sports and Youth Services, Govt of Odisha, Lord Sebastian Coe, President, International Association of Athletics Federation, General Dahlan Al-Hamad, President, Asian Athletics Association, Mr. Adille Sumariwala, President, Athletics Federation of India, Shri Aditya Prasad Padhi, Chief Secretary, Shri Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and R. Balakrishnan, IAS, DC-CUM-ACS, Government of Odisha were also seen at the opening ceremony. A commemorative Postal Cover was also released by the Chief Minister on the occasion.

In the synchronised march past, all the players from 45 countries of Asia participated with National Flags of their countries. On behalf of Team India women’s Sprinter Shrabani Nanda read out Oath for the players.

Reverberated with claps and fireworks, Kalinga Stadium, the venue of the event was packed with thousands of spectators while everybody enjoyed the Balloon Show. Finally followed colourful cultural programmes presented celebrated artists. Journey of Odisha – right from the Kalinga war during the reign of emperor Ashoka, to the spread of Buddhism in the region and its subsequent modernity was told through various dance forms. The narrative followed Odisha’s landmark history; right from its ancient temples to its pristine coastline, from its mighty rulers to their penance, from its beautiful simplicity to its fierce ambitions, all aspects were displayed through dance and art forms, some of them intrinsic to the region. Choreographed by famed Odissi dancer Padmashree Dr. Aruna Mohanty and Shri Ratikant Mohapatra, two different presentations enthralled the audience.

Prince dance group also presented another significant programme “Surya Upasana”. Artist Groups from foreign countries also presented an item titled “Ten Thousand Hands of Budha”. Short films on Odisha’s Journey towards growth and development such as new opportunities, skilled in Odisha etc. were also shown to provide update information on State’s Development Scenario.

Celebrated Singer and Music Director Shankar Mahadevan headlined the celebrations. He started with famous Odia song “Ranga Bati” . Inviting the original singers Padmashree Jitendriya Haripal and Krishna Patel along with the Composer and Lyricist to the dais, Mahadevan took their blessings for his rendition. He also mesmerised the audience through his all time hits “Breathless” and “Koi Kehe Kehata Rahe Kisme Kitna Hai Dum” .

Elaborate arrangements are made for the success of the inaugural ceremony in which Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports & Youth Services Department along with other Senior Officers monitored everything. Police Administration has looked after the security arrangement. The Event has evoked much appreciation in all circles.

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