Over 800 athletes to participate in athletics championship

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Kochi, Sep 5 (UNI) More than 800 athletes representing 28 teams from across the country will vie for honours at the 48th National Open Athletics Championship to be held at the Maharaja's College stadium here from September eight to eleven.

Kerala will field a 69-member team comprising 28 men and 41 women athletes with Prince Jose and Mayooka Johny heading the men's and women's section respectively, Championship Chief Co-ordinator Tony Daniel told a news conference here today.

Dr Daniel, who is also the Joint Secreary of the Athletics Federation of India, said the championship would have participation of 28 teams -- 22 states and six board teams-- and there would be 44 events in the four-day event.

Reigning champions Railways would be fielding a 150-member contingent.

Last year, Railways won 13 gold, nine silver and nine bronze in the men's section and got 16 gold, 17 silver and 12 bronze in the women's section to be overall champions.

Olympians Renjith Maheshwary and Preeja Sreedharan would be representing Railways in the meet. However, long jumper Anju Bobby George would not be participating in the event as she has not intimated her entry, Dr Daniel said.

The championship would be opened by Vice Admiral S K Damle, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command.

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