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Bhubaneswar Set to Host 27th National Federation Senior Athletics Competition

Bhubaneswar: The country’s top athletes gear up for the season’s inaugural domestic track and field competition, set to commence on Sunday at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium. The four-day event, the 27th National Federation Senior Athletics Competition, promises thrilling contests, with over 700 athletes, including 180 female participants, ready to showcase their talent.

A highlight of the event will be the participation of Olympic and world champion Neeraj Chopra in the men’s javelin throw. Chopra’s presence adds a significant allure to the competition, marking his return to action on Indian soil since his triumphant performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Joining him will be Asian Games medalist Kishore Kumar Jena, both of whom have already secured spots for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

In a thrilling prelude to the domestic event, Chopra clinched second place at the Doha Diamond League, narrowly missing out on the top spot by a mere two centimeters. Meanwhile, Jena, with his best attempt of 76.31m, finished ninth in the same competition.

The competition will also witness the participation of the country’s top quarter milers, including Amoj Jacob, who recently secured relay berths in the 4x400m relay event at the World Athletics Relay in Bahamas. Jacob expressed his intention to run in the individual 400m event in Bhubaneswar to improve his world ranking.

The qualification round for the 400m event is scheduled for May 14, with the medal round set for May 15. According to Radhakrishnan Nair, chief athletics coach, the 63rd National Inter State Senior Athletics Championships in Panchkula, Haryana, from June 27 to 30 will serve as the final domestic competition for athletes aiming to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games.

Nair highlighted that while the race walking event has been omitted from the Panchkula competition due to athletes needing time to recover from previous competitions, the event in Bhubaneswar offers a vital platform for athletes to assess their performance.

Athletes from Bangladesh and Maldives are also set to participate in the National Federation Senior Athletics Competition, sponsored by the Odisha government, adding an international flavor to the event. With high stakes and fierce competition expected, Bhubaneswar is poised to witness thrilling athletic performances over the coming days.

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