NEW DELHI: On Thursday in Bhubaneshwar, 95 of India's best athletes will hope to do the country proud when the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships kick off with fervour. This edition of the championship will be the biggest event in the competition's history - it was first held in 1977 - with the participation of over 800 athletes from 45 countries.
This edition of the Asian Athletics Championships will be hosted by Bhubaneshwar's Kalinga Stadium, which was given a dramatic makeover after Ranchi, which was initially supposed to host the games, pulled out to leave the city just 90 days to prepare itself. The stadium boasts an Olympic-level synthetic track, a renovated warm-up track, state-of-the-art high mast floodlights and newly-installed elevators.
After an opening ceremony on Wednesday, the games begin on July 6 and four days later.
In total, there will be 42 sporting events - 21 for men and 21 for women.
The mens' squad comprises : Amiya Kumar Mallick (100m/200m) , Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob and Arokia Rajiv ( 400m ), Jinson Johnson, Vishambhar Keolkar ( 800m ), Ajay Kumar Saroj, Siddhantha Adhikari ( 1500m ), G Lakshmanan, Murli Kumar Gavit ( 5000m ), G Lakshmanan, Gopi Thonakal, Kalidas Hirave ( 10,000m ), Naveen Kumar, Durga Bahadur Budha ( 3000m steeplechase ), Siddhant Thingalaya, Prem Kumar ( 110m hurdles ), Jabir MP, Santhosh Kumar T, Durgesh Kumar Pal ( 400m hurdles ), S Siva ( pole vault ), Chethan B, Ajay Kumar ( high jump ), Ankit Sharma, Samsheer SE, Siddharth Mohan Naik ( long jump ), Arpinder Singh and Karthik U ( triple jump ), Tajinder Pal Toor, Jasdeep Singh Dhillon, Omprakash Singh Karhana ( shot put ), Vikas Gowda, Dharamraj Yadav, Kirpal Singh ( discus throw ), Niraj Kumar ( hammer throw ), Neeraj Chopra, Davinder Singh Kang, Abhishek Singh ( javelin throw ), Jagtar Singh, Abhishek Shetty ( decathlon ), Amiya Kumar Mallick, Jyotishankar Debnath, Anuroop John, VK Elakkiya Dasan, Pravin Muthukumaran, Chintha Sudhakar ( 4x100m relay ), Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jaco, Arokia Rajiv, Sachi Roby, Mohan Kumar, Kunju Muhammed ( 4x400m relay ).
The womens' squad comprises : Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda ( 100m/200m ), Nirmala, MR Poovamma, Jisna Mathew ( 400m ), Tintu Luka, Archana Adhav, Lili Das ( 800m ), Monika Choudhary ( 1500m ), L Suriya, Sanjivani Jadhav ( 5000m ), L Suriya, Sanjivani Jadhav and Meenu ( 10,000m )
Sudha Singh, Parul Chaudhary ( 3000m steeplechase ), Nayana James ( 100m hurdles ) Anu R, Jauna Murmu, Arpitha M ( 400m hurdles ), KM Sangeeta ( pole vault ), Sahana Kumari, Swapna Barman ( high jump ), Nayana James, Neena V, G Karthika ( long jump ), Sheena NV, Joyline Murali Lobo ( triple jump ), Manpreet Kaur, Ramanpreet Kaur, Anamika Das ( shot put ), Kamalpreeet Kaur Bal, Seema Punia, Himani Singh ( discus throw ), Sarita R Singh, Gunjan Singh ( hammer throw ), Annu Rani, Poonam Rani Singh, Suman Devi ( javelin throw ), Swapna Barman, Purnima Hembram, Liksy Joseph ( heptathlon ), Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, Merlin Joseph, Reena George, Ruma Sarkar, Himashree Roy ( 4x100m relay ), Nirmala, Poovamma, Jisna Mathew, Vijayakumari GK, Sarita Ben Gayakwad, Debashree Mazumdar ( 4x400m relay ).
The AAC acts as a qualifying event for the IAAF World Championships in London. Winners will gain direct entry into the August event.
No. Previously, New Delhi hosted the event in 1989 and then Pune in 2013.