Asian Athletic Championship in Pune

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Asian Athletic Championship 2013 to be held in Pune

The Maharashtra government on 13th June, 2013 confirmed that the Asian Athletic Championship will be held in Pune from 3rd July, 2013 to 7th July, 2013.The decision was finalised at the State’s Cabinet meet held in Mumbai.

The State government has said that it would incur an expenditure of 18 crore rupees for this tournament. To ensure that the Asian Athletic Championship goes off smoothly, the State government has already formed a few committees to look into the various aspects of the tournament.

The uncertainty over the venue of the Asian athletics championships is finally over with the Athletics Federation of India ( AFI ) saying on Thursday that the event will be held in Pune.

The AFI, has been knocking on many a door to save itself from the embarrassment of pulling out from its commitment to host the event, for the first time since 1989, ever since the Tamil Nadu Government backed out of its decision on February 21 this year to support the conduct of the championships in Chennai, citing political issues over the participation of athletes from Sri Lanka in the meet.

After that, the AFI approached the Jharkhand Government to have the championships in Ranchi.

But, with the State under President’s rule, the AFI proposal did not find approval. Further, when the issue was discussed at the AFI general body meeting in New Delhi last month, many delegates voiced their concern about having such a major event in Ranchi citing logistical problems, forcing Sumariwalla and his team to look for an alternate venue.

The AFI’s next stop was the Delhi Government which, having initially agreed to support the Federation, backed out later on realising that any flip-flop over the conduct of the championships would cost it heavily in the forthcoming polls to the State Assembly.

It was then, as a last – gasp effort, that the AFI approached the Maharashtra Government to have the event in Pune.

Citing the difficulties the AFI faced all along, its secretary – general C.K. Valson admitted that it certainly would have been embarrassing for the Federation to back out from its commitment to host the event in India.

The AFI, compared to the comfortable budget of over 40 crore allotted by the Tamil Nadu Government, would be working with a scaled – down allotment of around 12.75 crore to be made by the Maharashtra Government for conducting the meet in Pune.

Maharashtra agreed to host the event after Tamil Nadu and later Delhi backed out of hosting it. Meanwhile, Maharashtra government felicitated pistol shooter Rahi Sarnobat. The 22 year old from Kolhapur was presented a cheque of one crore rupees and offered a Grade-I job in the State government. Sarnobat had won a gold medal in the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup recently.

The Indian squad for the event will be finalised based on the performance at the inter-State championships to be held in Chennai from 4th June, 2013 to 7th June, 2013.

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