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Odisha’s Bapi Hansda clinches silver medal at Youth Asian Athletics Championships in Tashkent

Bhubaneswar: Odisha athlete Bapi Hansda clinched an impressive silver medal in the 400m hurdles at the ongoing 5th Youth Asian Athletics Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

He clocked 51.38 seconds, his personal best to finish ahead of Sri Lanka’s Kuda Liyanage Ayomal who timed 51.40 to bag bronze while Qatar’s Mahamat Abakar Abdrahman won the gold with a time of 50.91 secs.

Appreciating Hansda Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “I congratulate Bapi on his achievement at the Asian level. He is an inspiring example for other athletes. Inspite of lot of challenges in his personal life, Bapi has been able to achieve this feat.
I wish Bapi, the coaches and the entire team of the Odisha Reliance Foundation HPC the very best. I am happy that our investment in sports ecosystem has started showing results”.

Bapi, a 17 year old native of Basta in Balasore is currently part of the Odisha Reliance Foundation Athletics High-Performance Center and has been making remarkable strides in the 400m hurdles. Bapi recently won gold at the 18th National Youth Championship clocking 51.90 secs. With this timing, Bapi ranked World No 1 in under 18 years age category and qualified for Asian Youth Athletics Championship.

For his achievement Odisha CM had recently felicitated Bapi Hansda with a cash award of Rs 25 Lakhs.

Speaking about Bapi’s race, an elated Head Coach of the Odisha Reliance HPC Martin Owens said, “Bapi ran a brave race. He was a bit nervous before the race because he had finished third yesterday in the heats due to which he was assigned lane 8. I call it a gutsy effort by him today because he was almost running blind in lane 8, he was a little behind midway but made a brilliant finish. Considering this is only his 5th attempt in the 400m hurdles, it is a fantastic achievement and the lad has clocked his personal best.”

Bapi will be participate in Commonwealth Championships in August. Optimistic about Bapi’s prospects in the upcoming events, he said, “We will be looking at taking him for the Commonwealth Championships in August and then prepare for the Junior World Championships next year. This kid has a lot of potential.”

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