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Asian Athletics proves historic for India

By The Assam Tribune
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BHUBANESWAR, July 10: The absence of top stars took some sheen away but India�s record-breaking medal haul and a maiden top-of-the-table finish made the just-concluded 22nd Asian Athletics Championship here a memorable one.

The four-day championship, which began on July 6 and ended yesterday, was hit by the absence of some top continental stars, a perennial problem for which the Asian Athletics Federation has not found any solution yet.

Several athletes from China, Japan, Qatar and Bahrain, among others skipped the event to prepare for next month�s World Championships in London, taking away some sheen off the championship which featured 562 athletes from 43 countries.

It was, though, not a new development given that the biennial event is held in the same year as the World Championship.

Asian Athletics Association President Dahlan Al-Hamad said �Bhubaneswar, you have raised the bar� during his speech at the closing ceremony last night. The compliment was perhaps directed at the near-flawless organisation of the event by the Odisha government and the Athletics Federation of India.

On the field of play, however, the quality of the competition was not of the highest standard with the hot and humid weather also affecting the athletes� performance. Only one meet record � by India�s Neeraj Chopra in men�s javelin throw � was created in the whole of four days.

However, the Kalinga Stadium, erected as a world-class facility in just 90 days with a brand-new synthetic track, was witness to India ending numero uno, ahead of superpower China, with 29 medals (12 gold, 5 silver, 12 bronze).

India fielded the highest number of athletes, 94, and achieved their best-ever performance, bettering the 22 medal haul (10 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze) in the 1985 edition in Jakarta. � PTI

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Asian Athletics proves historic for India

BHUBANESWAR, July 10: The absence of top stars took some sheen away but India�s record-breaking medal haul and a maiden top-of-the-table finish made the just-concluded 22nd Asian Athletics Championship here a memorable one.

The four-day championship, which began on July 6 and ended yesterday, was hit by the absence of some top continental stars, a perennial problem for which the Asian Athletics Federation has not found any solution yet.

Several athletes from China, Japan, Qatar and Bahrain, among others skipped the event to prepare for next month�s World Championships in London, taking away some sheen off the championship which featured 562 athletes from 43 countries.

It was, though, not a new development given that the biennial event is held in the same year as the World Championship.

Asian Athletics Association President Dahlan Al-Hamad said �Bhubaneswar, you have raised the bar� during his speech at the closing ceremony last night. The compliment was perhaps directed at the near-flawless organisation of the event by the Odisha government and the Athletics Federation of India.

On the field of play, however, the quality of the competition was not of the highest standard with the hot and humid weather also affecting the athletes� performance. Only one meet record � by India�s Neeraj Chopra in men�s javelin throw � was created in the whole of four days.

However, the Kalinga Stadium, erected as a world-class facility in just 90 days with a brand-new synthetic track, was witness to India ending numero uno, ahead of superpower China, with 29 medals (12 gold, 5 silver, 12 bronze).

India fielded the highest number of athletes, 94, and achieved their best-ever performance, bettering the 22 medal haul (10 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze) in the 1985 edition in Jakarta. � PTI