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Odisha CM declares 22nd Asian Athletics Championships open

Bhubaneswar, July 5: The 22nd Asian Athletics Championships were officially declared open on Wednesday evening at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared the championships open at the Kaling Stadium to mark the formal beginning of the event signaling State’s emergence as a strong force in global sports arena in the presence of State Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, International Association of Athletics Federations president Sebastian Coe and many other dignitaries in the jam packed stadium.

The mega event will end on July 9.

The CM in his inaugural speech welcomed Asia to Bhubaneswar. “Hello Asia, Welcome to Bhubaneswar,” the CM said.

Bhubaneswar got ready to host the prestigious Championships in just 90 days after Jharkhand Government, which was to host the event earlier, pulled out at the last minute. More than 800 athletes and 320 officials from 45 countries are participating in Championships featuring 42 events and 20 world champion athletes while three lakh sq. ft. of area in the stadium has undergone grass turfing.

“AAC 2017 shows how determination & teamwork can create wonders and achieve the unimaginable. I look forward to be at the grand opening ceremony and the various events. I seek cooperation of all to make AAC 2017 the best in the history of Asian Athletics Championships,” the CM posted in his Facebook page on Tuesday.

CM also urged the athletes to give their best on and off ground, and at the same time asked them to explore and experience the beauty, culture and heritage of Odisha.

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