Teams arrive for South Asian Championship

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Kochi, Mar 3 (UNI) Top athletes Chitra K Soman, Preeja Sreedharan and Sinimol Paulose are among the 21 sportspersons in the 83-member Indian team, who arrived here to participate in the first South Asian Athletics Championship at the Maharajas' College Stadium beginning March 6.

The Indian team, led by Anju Bobby George, was selected after the just concluded Federation Cup Athletics Meet at Bhopal and the remaining team members would be arriving in the next two days.

India will be fielding athletes like B G Nagraj (100m), B Mathew (Triple Jump), Hamsa Chatholi (1500m) and Hari Shankar Roy (high jump) in the men's section and H M Jyothi (100m), Anuradha Biswal and Poonam Bojanna (100m hurdles), Anju Bobby George&J J Shobha (long jump), Preeja Sreedharan (5000m), Sinimol Poulose (800&1500m) and Chitra K Soman (400m) in the women's section.

A five-member Bhutanese team, including Sonam Thobagi (1500m), Sonam Rinchen (800m) and Kinlee Tensin (200m), competing in the men's events, with Manager O R Sashi and Coach Kinshang Dorgi as officials have also arrived.

A 25-member Maldives team is expected to reach here by this evening.

About 235 athletes from eight SAF countries -- India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan -- would be competing in 19 and 15 events in men's and women's sections respectively.

Kerala Sports Minister M Vijayakumar will open the championship on March six. The competitions will start the next day.

UNI MA GM RKM ND1537

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