The 69th Inter Service Athletics Championship was inaugurated Saturday at Army Sports Institute (ASI) in Pune. The competition, which will end on September 10, will serve as a test bed for selection to the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) team for national competitions.
Some of the athletes competing at the championship are Subedar G Lakshamanan, national champion in 1,500 metres and 5,000 metres, Junior Warrant Officer Nirmal Noah Tom, a 400 metres national champion, Havildar Avinash Sable, gold medalist in the Asian Championship in 3,000 metres steeplechase, Petty Officer Tejinder Singh Toor, gold medalist at the Asian Games in shot put.
The championship was declared open by Brigadier RV Desai of Headquarter Southern Command Saturday at an inaugural ceremony held at the ASI. The event started with a grand opening ceremony after which several athletes performed in 200 metre, 800 metre and 5,000 metre races in track events and finals of high jump in field events.
The championship will serve as the primary test ground for the selection of the SSCB team, which will compete against teams from states and the Railway Sports Promotion Board team at national championships. A number of national records have been broken at previous meets over the years.
The ASI, the premier sports training institute of the Indian Army, was conceived and raised on in July 2001 to work towards the Indian Army s Mission Olympics programme. The sports covered at ASI include archery, athletics, boxing, ping, weightlifting, wrestling and fencing.
The ASI has produced one Dronacharya awardee, 11 Arjuna awardees, 1,013 international medal winners and 4,713 national medal winners. Boxing superstar Naib Subedar Amit Panghal and weightlifting sensation Naib Subedar Jeremy L are among some of the prominent sportsmen produced by ASI.