Bhubaneswar: A two-day state-level Junior Athletics selection trials to constitute the Odisha contingent for the upcoming National Junior Athletics Championship to be held in Guwahati, Assam from 6-10 February 2021, is to commence at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from today.
The trials are being jointly conducted by the Department of Sports and Youth Services and the Odisha Athletics Association.
A total number of 239 athletes (boys 127, girls 111) from 31 units which include RSP and KIIT University in the age group of U-14, U-16, U-18 and U-20 will be competing across track and field, jump and throw events during the trials. New events ball throw for U-14 boys and girls, 80 mts hurdle and 300 mts run for U-16 boys and girls have been included this year.
The trials will be conducted under strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Some of the promising track and field athletes from Odisha including three from the Reliance Foundation Odisha Athletics High Performance Centre (HPC) and six athletes from the Monitoring Cohort (MC) of the high performance centre will be competing at the State Trials.
Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera said, “We are happy to announce the selection trials for the Odisha junior athletics team who will go ahead and participate in the National Junior Athletics Championships in Guwahati next month. COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on sports stalling events and training activities for a significant period. This is the first such large scale trials, post resumption of sports, and we are confident it will benefit the athletes. Over the last few years our representation at different national games has increased, so also the performance of our athletes particularly in track and field and jump and throw events. This trial will be a good platform to screen some of our promising athletes from a very young age and who can be further groomed at our preparatory camps prior to the National Junior Athletics Championships. For others, it will be yet another opportunity to excel at their sport in a national meet. I wish them all the very best.”
The selection committee members constituted by the Odisha Athletics Association and headed by Ashok Kumar Sahu, Joint Secretary, OAA and Chairman, selection committee will be present during the trials headed
Odisha Athletics Association, Honorary Secretary, Ashirbad Behera said, “It’s a great opportunity for our future champions to compete at the world-class Kalinga Stadium and showcase their talent. They are eager to participate in the selection trials after the long lockdown period. I am thankful to the Sports & Youth Services Department, Odisha for extending all types of support for the conduct of the championships.”