Pune, Dec 13 (UNI) Long-distance runners from across the state will be vying for honours in the state cross country championship being hosted by the Maharashtra Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA) here on December 16 and 17.
MAAA secretary general Pralhad Sawant, who is also the joint secretary of the Athletic Federation of India (AFI), told reporters here today that the meet is being held under the aegis of the Pune International Marathon Trust(PIMT) and Pune District Amateur Athletic Association (PDAAA).
A record number of 750 athletes and officials from 30 affiliated units of the MAAA will be matching their talents in the two-day meet to be held in four groups -- men's, women's, boys under-20 and girls under-20.
The events to be held are men's 12 km and 4 km, women's 8 km and 4 km, boys under-20 8 km and girls under-20 6 km.
The meet would serve as a basis to select the Maharashtra squad for the national cross country championship slated to be held at Nagpur on January 8 next year.
The selected long-distance runners will be put through a coaching camp at Pune from December 20 till their departure for Nagpur, Mr Sawant added. Coach U L Saini from the Army Sports Institute (ASI) and former international Bhagyashri Bile will conduct the coaching camp.
Mr Sawant informed that selection panels have been formed to select the state men's and women's teams for the national cross country to be held Nagpur.
Mr Ramesh Bhute (Wardha) will be the chairman of the selection committee for men which includes U L Saini, Sharad Suryawanshi (Nagpur) and Mr R B Patil (Kolhapur). The women's selection panel will be chaired by Ms Meera Ghatvai (Nagpur) and include Harshada Dubey (Pune), L Leelamma (Mumbai) and Ms Shubhangi Kadam (Pune).