04-07-2017 06:30 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
The Kalinga Stadium in Odisha is a whirlwind of activity
The Asian Athletics Championships is an event organized by the Asian Athletics Association and it is held every two years. It was first held in 1973 in the Philippines that hosted 37 events.
The last championship was held in 2015 in China in which players from different countries competed in 42 events.
This year, India is proud to host the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship which will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Odisha. The Championships which will commence on July 5 will witness over 500 artists performing in the opening ceremony. The cultural programme will be a reflection of Odisha’s glorious past, heritage, culture, Buddhist connection with other countries and modern time.
The programme also includes the oath taking ceremony and march past by athletes of 45 countries of the Indian continent.
The sun is the protagonist in the programme which will showcase the history and present period of Odisha by voiceovers in the background and dancers performing on stage. It will unveil Odisha’s journey through the Kalinga war, the great Ashoka's transformation from Chandashok to Dharmashok and promotion of Buddhist religion from India to countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Noted Odissi exponent Aruna Mohanty has choreographed the dance which will bring out the rich culture and tradition of the state.
Noted singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan will perform a song on the theme of sports and a few Bollywood numbers with his troupe. The spectators will also be treated to an Odiya song that he will sing during his performance.
The programme will conclude with a dazzling display of fireworks. The events of the four day long championships will begin on July 6.
In preparation for the Championships, the Kalinga stadium has got a brilliant face-lift. The highlight is the introduction of a brand new synthetic track. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who inaugurated the synthetic track acknowledged and hailed it as one of the signs that the state has “come a long way”.
This championship is slated to become the biggest event in the competition's history as nearly 1000 athletes and delegates from 45 countries will take part. It will be a qualifying event for the IAAF World Championships in London. India had earlier hosted the Championships in New Delhi (1989) and Pune (2013).
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