Kochi to host South Asian athletics championship

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Kochi, Feb 7 : Top athletes, inculding India's Anju Bobby George, Sri Lanka's Susanthika Jayasinghe and Damyanti Darsha will be vying for honours in the first South Asian Athletics Championship from March 7 here.

In the two-day championship, about 235 athletes from eight SAF countries -- India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan would be competing in 32 events in the men's and women's sections, the former in 18 and the latter in 14, Kerala Sports Minister M Vijayakumar here today. He said five athletes each from Afghanistan and Bhutan would be in the fray.

India will be fielding athletes like M Renjith and Vibhu Mathew (Triple Jump), Sinimol Poulose (800&1500m), K M Binu (800m), Joseph J Abraham (400m), Hamsa Chatholi (1500m), Jish Kumar and Sulekha (pole vault) O P Jaisha (1500 and 5000m), Chitra K Soman (400m).

He said the Maharaja's Ground, the venue of the championship, was being spruced up to include a press centre, VIP gallery, players' room, dope test room and medical centre for the games.

''This is the first time an international event is being held in Kerala, which has been contributing talented athletes to India.

The government will make sure that all facilities are in place for the event,'' he said.

The Minister also released the logo of the championship, which was designed by Vijayakumar V Gudi.

UNI

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